Update on Israeli Relief Mission to Turkey

There are several new developments to report with the Israeli rescue and relief missions in Turkey following last week’s devastating earthquakes, which have now claimed over 30,000 lives and climbing.

Israeli search and rescue teams from the IDF, United Hatzalah and other first-responders were the first on the scene in the worst-hit areas of Turkey, with many arriving within 24 hours. Over the next five days, they managed to pull 19 people from the rubble of collapsed buildings, and to treat scores more for their injuries. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem issued an appeal for donations from Christians worldwide to support the efforts of United Hatzalah, which has a well-earned reputation as Israel’s fastest paramedics on the scene of accidents and terror attacks.

The Israeli teams in Turkey have now called an end to the search-and-rescue phase of their earthquake response. Given the freezing temperatures and the passage of nearly a week since the initial earthquake, they assessed it was unlikely they would find more people trapped alive. This decision also was taken in light of credible threats to the safety of the Israeli personnel operating in the affected regions. While some media reports have linked these threats to ISIS or other regional militias, there also was a real danger of violence to the Israeli teams from local villagers taking out their mounting anger and frustrations with their own government’s poor response to this national disaster.

However, the humanitarian relief phase of Israel’s response to the Turkey earthquakes is continuing and really just gaining steam. United Hatzalah brought their search and rescue team home to Israel on Sunday, but they are still readying relief aid in keeping with our appeal late last week. That is, our donations will continue to go towards providing sorely needed warm clothing, along with first-aid kits, oxygen tanks, defibrillators and other emergency medical equipment.

The ICEJ also is making inquiries as to how we can support the IDF field hospital which has remained in Turkey and will continue to treat hundreds of people injured in the earthquakes.

Finally, we have been approached by The Jewish Agency for Israel to assist the local Jewish community and Israeli citizens in the impacted regions, primarily by bringing them home on rescue flights to Israel.

Sadly, the death toll in Turkey and Syria is still rising, and the suffering and loss in the impacted areas is immense. Thus, we want to continue to support the aid and relief efforts of Israeli organizations in response to this ongoing tragedy.

By giving towards these efforts, you not only are demonstrating Christian compassion and helping those in desperate need, but you also are enabling Israeli humanitarian relief missions to have an even greater impact and thereby improve Israel’s standing in the eyes of the world.

So, please give generously as we join with our kindhearted Israeli partners in helping those shattered by the devastating earthquakes in Turkey.

Please give generously to help those shattered by the devastating earthquakes in Turkey.