IDF delegation returns to Israel as rescue efforts in Miami end

July 13, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The members of the Israeli delegation to the disaster site at Surfside, Florida, which included IDF rescue experts and Foreign Ministry officials, completed their mission to rescue the missing after the collapse of the Champlain Towers South and returned to Israel Monday.

An IDF officer operating at the disaster site. (IDF)

The delegation included experts in the field of engineering, rescue and population care, who worked around the clock in collaboration with local rescue forces, in an effort to help locate missing persons under the rubble.

No live survivors were found at the site. The death toll has reached 94, and 83 victims have been identified. Another 22 people remain “potentially unaccounted” for.

The Israeli delegation was the largest delegation that came to assist in the recovery efforts after the collapse of the building.

“The delegation demonstrated advanced capabilities in the field of technology, which refined the rescue operations and assisted in the efforts to locate the forces on the ground,” the IDF stated,

On Sunday evening, at the end of the delegation’s operations, a tribute ceremony was held for the Israeli team that was attended by the Mayor of Miami Daniella Levine Cava, city residents, and the families of the missing.

“On behalf of Miami-Dade County, thank you to the members of IDF who travelled halfway across the world to stand shoulder to shoulder with our first responders, and who poured their hearts into the search,” tweeted Levine Cava. “We are forever grateful for your service to our community.”

Major General Uri Gorodin, head of the IDF’s Home Front Command, told the members of the delegation on their return that they “deserve all the appreciation” for their activities in providing assistance to the rescue of the missing and supporting their families.

“You have brought honour and pride to the IDF and the State of Israel,” he said.

Israel regularly dispatches rescue delegations and aid to countries that have experienced disasters of various kinds.

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