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Netanyahu Hails ‘Highest Order’ Earthquake Aid Mission In Turkey

IDF Home Front Command personnel save 4 from collapsed buildings

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Turkish and Israeli flags illuminated on the Ashdod municipality building in a display of solidarity for the tragic loss of lives in the earthquake. (Photo: @yunuspaksoy)

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(JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday commended the work of the IDF search and rescue delegation in earthquake-stricken Turkey, which has saved four people from collapsed buildings since starting its work the previous day.

“You are representing the mission with the most experience on the international level. You have much experience, which has proven itself. You are carrying out a humanitarian mission of the highest order and are bringing much honor to us and the State of Israel and are showing Israel’s true face to the world,” Netanyahu told Col. (res.) Golan Vach of the IDF Home Front Command, the head of the delegation, in a phone call.

“Please convey my greetings to all members of the mission. Do what you can to save lives and be careful,” he added.

Vach said that the emergency response team was currently engaged in efforts to save two additional people from the rubble.

“We are trying to make every effort to save lives. Time-wise, this has been the most successful day that our missions have ever had thanks to the fact that you succeeded in getting us here very quickly,” he told the prime minister.

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A separate Israel Defense Forces delegation arrived in Turkey on Wednesday morning to set up a field hospital in the wake of the massive earthquakes this week that have so far claimed the lives of more than 11,000 people there and in neighboring Syria.

The delegation is composed of more than 230 medical and emergency response experts and was sent as part of the IDF’s “Operation Olive Branches” humanitarian effort. The team will also assist the 150-member Home Front Command delegation.

The United Hatzalah of Israel emergency medical services organization has also sent a delegation of 25 first responders to Turkey.

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The massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake ripped through Turkey and Syria early Monday, toppling buildings and causing shockwaves felt across the region, including in Cyprus, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Israel. Just before 1 p.m. local time, a 7.5 magnitude quake struck 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) southeast of Ekinözü, Turkey, at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), said the USGS.

“For the third time in a day, tremors were felt in Israel, most recently by some residents in the north of Israel” tweeted Michael Dickson, CEO of Stand With US late Wednesday.  

“There have been minor earthquakes confirmed here, the previous one took place in the afternoon near Ariel and was 3.3 on the Richter scale.”

An aftershock after the earthquake in Turkey occurred in Israel. It had a magnitude of 4.4 with the epicenter  near Nablus. (Image: CSEM)

As of Wednesday evening the death toll in Turkey and Syria was approaching 12,000 victims, as President Erdogan – facing an election in May – defended the emergency response of his administration.

“Of course, there are shortcomings,” he said. “The conditions are clear to me. It’s not possible to be ready for a disaster like this.” The Guardian reported that Erdogan made the comment in the southern province of Hatay, which suffers the highest death toll. 

The USGS has since recorded dozens of aftershocks of greater than 4.0 magnitude, which along with harsh winter weather have made recovery efforts difficult. Still, rescuers continue to work around the clock to pull survivors from the freezing debris and rubble.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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