by: Ilse Strauss
Friday, 5 October 2018 | Last Friday, a mammoth 7.5 magnitude earthquake tore through the island of Sulawesi in central Indonesia. The quake triggered an equally deadly tsunami, leaving the Southeast Asian island decimated. In the seven days since the twin disasters struck, the death toll has climbed to more than 1,400, with many people still unaccounted for and an approximate 48,000 left homeless. According to the United Nations, some 200,000 people—including tens of thousands of children—on the devastated island urgently require help. One of the nations to answer the call and dispatch aid is Israel, a country that Indonesia has no official ties with and does not even recognize officially.
IsraAID, a humanitarian aid organization from Israel that responds to emergencies and facilitates international development around the world, confirmed yesterday that it will send a team of disaster experts to Sulawesi.
“The communities affected by this disaster need immediate support, as the full scale of destruction is only now becoming clear, with thousands experiencing the trauma and uncertainty of displacement and the tragic loss of loved ones,” IsraAID’s directors said in a statement.
The IsraAID team will “distribute vital relief items, provide mental health support to vulnerable groups and conduct an initial needs assessment to determine immediate and long-term needs, including medical care, psychological support and safe water provision,” the statement continued.
Deputy minister for diplomacy Michael Oren tweeted that Israel’s aid to Indonesia displays the Jewish state’s heart of compassion for those in need. “Israel, a world leader in disaster relief, offers medical and rescue aid to Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country and one that has no diplomatic ties with us. This again demonstrates our compassion and humanity and our willingness to share our expertise for its betterment.”
Tiny Israel is often one of the first nations to rush to the aid of disaster-stricken countries. Over the past six decades, with little fanfare and minimal press coverage, the country has provided humanitarian aid to more than 140 disaster-stricken nations, a number of which still refuses to maintain diplomatic relations with Israel.
The tiny nation’s commitment to offer a helping hand is indeed a long-standing one. “Within a decade of Israel’s founding, the government and its people demonstrated a deep commitment to engage in humanitarian relief efforts,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website explains.
The people of Israel remain true to that vision. Regardless of where catastrophe hits, the Jewish state is often the first on the frontlines, flying thousands of miles to bring doctors and nurses, rescue workers, medical supplies, equipment and more to devastated areas. In fact, the tiny country’s huge heart of compassion and care is often most clearly visible in a nation far from home, helping people who are not its own survive the rubble of their shattered lives.
Posted on October 5, 2018
Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 5, 2018)
Photo Credit: ILTV Israel Daily
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