TEL AVIV (Dec. 11)
Israel is rushing disaster relief to earthquake-ravaged Soviet Armenia.
It includes medical aid, Israel Defense Force field hospitals and special equipment for removing rubble. The IDF is sending dogs trained to sniff out buried bodies and giant air bags capable of lifting concrete blocks weighing many tons.
An air force Boeing 707 took off Sunday morning for Yerevan, the Armenian capital, with 40 doctors, medics, experienced rescue teams and tons of supplies.
The Magen David Adom, Israel’s Red Cross equivalent, will fly trained personnel, blood and plasma to the region on Monday The blood was collected in a countrywide emergency campaign the MDA conducted over the weekend.
Israel is one of many countries responding to the disaster, which is believed to have taken more than 100,000 lives and left hundreds of thousands of others injured or homeless.
The Turkish government cooperated with the Israeli effort by allowing the Israeli relief plane to make the four-hour flight over its territory.
The Soviet authorities responded quickly and thankfully to Israel’s prompt offer of assistance, They asked only one condition — that the IDF personnel travel in civilian clothes.
CHECK PRESENTED TO SOVIETS
Meanwhile, American Jewish organizations are assisting in the relief effort.
In Washington, B’nai B’rith International presented a check for $1,500 in disaster aid Friday to Oleg Derkofsky, a counselor at the Soviet Embassy.
In New York, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has announced the establishment of an “Open Mailbox for Armenian Earthquake Relief.”
Donations for non-sectarian relief may be sent to Armenian Mailbox, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, 711 Third Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017.
In Boston, the American Jewish World Service is also reportedly accepting contributions. Its address is 729 Boylston St., Boston, Mass. 02116.
Other Jewish organizations have sent moral support.
In New York, the American Jewish Committee sent a message of “deep friendship and solidarity” with the Armenian people Friday to Archbishop Torkom Manogian, primate of the Armenian Church Diocese in New York.
Meanwhile, little is known about the fate of the 1,000 Jews said to live of Armenia. Most live in Yerevan, which suffered less severe damage.