Israeli search and rescue delegation departs to Haiti

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The delegation will examine the possibilities of offering aid following the earthquake there.

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Following the tragic earthquake in Haiti, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (Wednesday), 13 January 2010, ordered Defense Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Public Security Ministry officials to quickly consider how to render humanitarian assistance to the Caribbean nation. To this end, an advance IDF Home Front Command, IDF Medical Corps and Foreign Ministry delegation has already departed for Haiti.

Israeli Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Amos Radian has been instructed to proceed to Haiti in order to report on the situation there. The Israeli Embassy in the US has been instructed to be in contact with American aid officials in order to coordinate humanitarian assistance and rescue activities and adapt them to the needs of the affected area.

(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)

An Israeli delegation including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IDF Home Front Command and IDF Medical Corp Personnel has departed (11:30 Israel time) to the Republic of Haiti in order to examine the possibilities of offering aid following the recent earthquake.

The delegation includes engineering, medical, logistics and rescue experts from the IDF Home Front Command.

The IDF Home Front Command is sending search and rescue forces to Haiti, in order to aid with the rescue of the victims of the earthquake in the Caribbean country. During the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Hispaniola island near Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince. The Medical Officer of the IDF Home Front Command, Dr. Ariel Bar, informed Israel Army Radio that measures have already been taken in order to minimize the preparation period of the operation.

The Home Front Command constantly trains its search and rescue forces to respond accurately to emergencies. It frequently holds search in rescue exercises in cooperation with civilian Israeli bodies and international organizations, such as the Reliant Mermaid X exercise in August 2009, in which Turkish, US and Israeli naval and aerial forces cooperated. The Home Front Command and the Israeli Ministry of Health are also currently holding an international conference for emergency preparedness and response to share it's experience with hundreds of international officials.