Israeli rescue teams in Haiti get big time coverage

Monday, January 18, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Besides the United States, Israel is believed to be operating one of the largest search and rescue efforts in Haiti following the massive earthquake that devastated the island nation.

Hundreds of Israeli rescue experts, including Israeli army canine units, are among the rubble searching for trapped victims. They have succeeded in rescuing eight live victims so far.

The Israeli army's Home Front Command has also established a field hospital in Port-Au-Prince that is capable of processing at least 500 patients a day. The Israeli facility also has a pediatrics ward, a maternity ward and a pharmacy, in addition to exam areas and operating rooms.

Nearly 100 Haitian children are currently being cared for at the Israeli facility, most of them in serious condition. One baby has been delivered so far by Israeli midwives.

Despite the difficulties in running the field hospital in a country where chaos currently reigns, and despite the economic strain of maintaining such an effort, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it is testament of the true character of Israel and the Jewish people.

"I think that this is in the best tradition of the Jewish People; this is the true covenant of the State of Israel and the Jewish people," Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday's cabinet meeting. "Despite being a small country, we have responded with a big heart. The fact is, I know, that this was an expression of our Jewish heritage and the Jewish ethic of helping one's fellow man."

The substantial Israeli effort, which is expected to last at least another two weeks, has grabbed the attention of the foreign press. Most notably, Fox News provided extensive coverage of the Israeli team during its weekend reporting.

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