When a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake cut a swath of death and destruction through Nepal, Israel was one of the first nations on the scene to assist. As of this writing, the death toll has quickly skyrocketed to more than 2,500 with tens of thousands wounded or left homeless. Many more remain unaccounted for, sparking fears that survivors might be caught under ruins of collapsed buildings.
Israel immediately responded with the compassion, aid and hands-on assistance. Less than two days after disaster struck, they left for Nepal to launch search and rescue efforts, provide medical treatment and offer support to Israeli victims of the quake.
Two hundred forty soldiers and officers from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) with over 95 tons of aid, search and rescue equipment, as well as medical supplies and equipment, including the various components of the field hospital arrived in Nepal and within 12 hours were fully operational and treating 200 patients a day.
Israel has a long tradition of rushing to the aid of those in need. Regardless of where disaster strikes, Israel is often one of the first to respond with aid and humanitarian relief. Moreover, its relief efforts have won international accolades for its unequaled effectiveness and skill. Following Israel’s medical and search and rescue assistance in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a widely distributed CNN report praised the tiny nation that “came from the other side of the world” to accomplish what no other did.
It is these sentiments that Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu echoed to the Israeli delegations as they set out for Nepal, “You are being sent on an important mission. This is the real face of Israel—a country that offers help at any distance in moments such as these.” Bridges for Peace also came to the assistance of Israel raising prayer and financial assistance for the operation in Nepal.
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