Israel sending relief to Haiti


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is sending a relief package to Haiti, including a field hospital and rescue unit.

The aid, which includes 220 Israel Defense Forces personnel, among them Home Front Command rescue teams and Medical Corps teams, is scheduled to leave Israel Thursday evening.

The field hospital, which will be able to serve 500 patients a day, will include 40 doctors, 25 nurses, paramedics, a pharmacy, a children’s ward, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an emergency room, two operating rooms, a surgical department, an internal department and a maternity ward.

The Israel team, which will arrive on two Boeing 747 airplanes, is expected to stay two weeks. 

A four-man team from Israel’s ZAKA International Rescue Unit arrived in Haiti from Mexico Thursday morning to offer immediate assistance. The volunteers had been in Mexico City to help in the recovery of the bodies of a Jewish tycoon and his family who were killed earlier this week in a helicopter crash.

Seven Israelis who had been believed to be missing since the earthquake have been located, according to reports. Sharona Elsaieh, daughter of the late Israeli peace activist Abie Nathan, remained missing as of Thursday afternoon.

There have still been no reports on the fate of Haiti’s small Jewish community because of downed communication lines.

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Tuesday afternoon was the strongest in Haiti in 200 years. The National Palace and United Nations peacekeeper headquarters were among the many buildings that suffered damage.

In the United States, several Jewish groups — including the American Jewish World Service (, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (, American Jewish Committee ( and B’nai B’rith International ( — have set up mailboxes for donations.

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