Israel helps China quake victims


Israel sent aid to victims of the Chinese earthquake.

An Israeli plane carrying 90 tons of medical equipment, water purification kits, electricity generators, camping gear, and clothing took off Sunday for the Chinese city of Chengdu, which was devastated by a May 12 earthquake.

The airlift was organized by the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, which raised more than $1.5 million from donors such as the Israel Corporation and its subsidiaries, and Diane and Gilford Glazer through the United Israel Appeal.

As soon as the extent of the disaster became known, the Israeli Embassy in Beijing offered help in the form of Israeli evacuation and rescue teams and a field hospital. The Chinese government thanked the embassy staff for the offer but at this stage preferred help with acquiring basic equipment to house the hundreds of thousands of survivors left homeless.

“What Israel is doing this morning is the minimum that we can do to express the warm relations between Israel and China,” Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Sunday. “Israel’s willingness to help out wherever a disaster occurs is an expression of the humanitarian side of Israel’s relations with the rest of the states in the world.”

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