Israel dispatches aid delegations to Miami disaster site

June 27, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The State of Israel and the IDF have dispatched a team of specialists to help the rescue teams operating at the site of the collapse of the Champlain Towers at Surfside, just outside Miami.

Pic: Twitter

At least five people are confirmed dead and 156 are still missing at the site. Many of those missing are Jews.

The joint IDF and Ministry of Foreign Affairs aid delegation that departed on Saturday night is headed by the Commander of the IDF’s National Rescue Unit in the Home Front Command, Col. (res.) Golan Vach, and includes a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Guy Giladi, the former Deputy Consul General in Miami.

The delegation consists of 10 reserve officers from the Home Front Command, all top experts in engineering and social care efforts.

The delegation’s mission is to assist in the life-saving efforts by mapping out the destruction site, assisting the Jewish community in identifying victims and survivors and supporting the local rescue forces in general.

The delegation will be received by the staff of the Israeli Consulate General in Miami and the Consul General, Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, who have maintained a regular presence at the site since the tragic collapse on Thursday and have provided assistance with clothing, medicine, food, emergency lighting and more.

The consulate will connect the staff with the Miami District Emergency Services and the State of Florida.

Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid stated that Israel “has no greater friend than the United States of America, and America has no greater friend than Israel. At difficult times such as these, we stand with our American friends and with the Jewish community in Florida.”

“The rapid and effective mobilization of the Defence Establishment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an important statement about Israel’s relations and friendship with the United States,” he added.

 

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke on Saturday with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and conveyed condolences over the disaster on behalf of the Israeli public and said that Israel will assist the American authorities as per request.

Bennett told DeSantis that “the US is Israel’s greatest friend and that Israel stands by the US at this difficult time.” He added that everyone is praying for the wellbeing of the wounded and noted he has instructed all Israeli government agencies to render whatever assistance that may be requested.”

Minister of Diaspora Nachman Shai left for Miami in a show of solidarity with the victims.

United Hatzalah of Israel sent a team from its Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit to provide psychological support and stabilization to the families and neighbours of those injured, killed, or affected by the tragedy that occurred in Surfside Florida.

The team will be utilizing techniques and tools developed in Israel which have proven to be highly successful in assisting those who have suffered from similar incidents.

The United Hatzalah delegation is being flown to Miami by El Al airlines who have graciously sponsored the flights. They are scheduled to arrive in Surfside on Sunday.

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