The IDF Delegation Arrives In Surfside Miami
On Sunday, the IDF delegation came to help rescue all those still trapped under the debris of the collapsed Condominium in Surfside, Miami.
I watched various news reports on many Miami news channels which showed the IDF team leader being interviewed about the chances of pulling out anyone from the ruble alive. And his response was “There is always hope”.
He pointed to his own experience in Haiti when he pulled out a man from an earthquake damaged building who had been buried for many days.
What he did not mention is the many other times the IDF has been called on to rescue victims trapped in other disasters throughout the world. Here are a few examples that appear on the IDF Site-
1953: Ionian Islands, Greece
The first humanitarian operation that the IDF carried out was in 1953, when Israel was just five years old. That August, an earthquake hit Greece, taking over 1,000 lives. Israeli Navy ships, which were participating in an exercise in the area, helped the survivors and gave them necessary medical treatment. These sailors paved the way for future IDF humanitarian aid missions.
1985: Mexico City, Mexico
In September 1985, four earthquakes hit Mexico City, the most severe measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale, and took more than 10,000 lives. The IDF sent a delegation of medical and search and rescue teams, consisting of 350 reservists who were called up within three days of the disaster.
1994: Buenos Aires, Argentina
On July 18, 1994, Hezbollah operatives committed a massive terror attack on the Asoción Mutual Israelita Argentina (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association), or AMIA, a Jewish organization, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was Argentina’s deadliest bombing, and devastated the Argentine Jewish community, which is one of the biggest in the world. 85 people were killed in the attack, and hundreds more were injured.
1998: Nairobi, Kenya
On August 7, 1998, a car bomb exploded near the US embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Prime Minister of Israel deployed an IDF task force of 170 people, including search and rescue teams and medical experts, to the scene. The IDF task force was the first foreign mission to reach the site, and were able to rescue three survivors.
2005: New Orleans, United States of America
After seeing the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in August 2005, IDF Chief Medical Officer Brig. Gen. Yeheskel Levy coordinated the transfer of 80 tons of humanitarian aid supplies to the United States of America.
2006: Nairobi, Kenya
On January 24, 2006, a five-story building collapsed in Nairobi, Kenya. Israel sent a team of 80 search and rescue personnel to assist with the rescue efforts, under the command of Maj. General Yitzhak Gershon, Chief of the Home Front Command.
2012: Accra, Ghana
In November 2012, a large department store collapsed in Accra, Ghana. An IDF Home Front Command delegation arrived in Accra to help with the relief effort. The delegation included a team of experts and equipment specifically designed to rescue people trapped under ruins. In all, they rescued 78 people from the debris.
2017: Mexico City, Mexico
On September 20th, 2017, an IDF delegation of approximately 70 men and women departed for Mexico to aid in the earthquake relief efforts. Of those 70 soldiers, 25 are engineers, who helped evaluate the damage and provided assessments and assistance in the disaster zone. The timing of the mission was remarkable, in that the soldiers departed on the first night of Rosh Hashanah.
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz Remains Hopeful
On Sunday, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she met with rescue workers and was able to “hear the hope that they have.”
“We obviously have some realism that we’re dealing with. But … as long as the experts that we trust are telling me they have hope to find people who might have been able to survive, then we have to make sure that we hold on to that hope,” Schultz said.
The Israeli National Anthem – “Hatikvah” Means “The Hope”
The lyrics appear at the following link to the Knesset Site-
We continue to pray for the victims and their families of the Surfside Miami tragedy.