Israel Working With Nepal, India and China to Rescue Israelis and Nepalis Following Kathmandu Quake
As Israeli disaster relief teams worked to erect a field hospital on Tuesday, Jerusalem continued to charter helicopters out of India and China in efforts to rescue Israelis stranded in remote locations in Nepal.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman thanked his Nepali counterpart, Mahendra Bahadur Pandey on Tuesday, for allowing Israel to use the helicopters from India and China, both bordering Nepal.
“FM Liberman told FM Pandey that Israel is extending aid to Nepal through the establishment of a field hospital, search and rescue teams, and shipments of medical and humanitarian aid, and will continue to assist in any way it can,” a statement from the foreign ministry said.
Liberman also expressed Israel’s deep sorrow at the tragedy which has struck Nepal and conveyed the condolences of the Israeli people for the heavy loss of life.
Israeli efforts in disaster-struck Nepal, which is reeling from a powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake that struck near Kathmandu last Friday, underlined the Jewish state’s strengthening ties with countries in Asia.
“We landed throughout the day about five planes” of supplies and aid, Col. Gili Shena told Israeli Army Radio, from the ground in Kathmandu.
“We are working so that the hospital will be open by tomorrow morning,” he said, adding that Israeli medical staff were working together with the local authorities.
“We have set up next to the local hospital. We’ll do everything we need to do, including surgeries, life-saving operations,” he said.
“Meanwhile, search and rescue teams have set out on rescue missions for areas” where there are reports of stranded Israeli travelers, explained Shena.
The colonel also described Israeli rescue efforts already underway in the Nepali capital at collapsed buildings, such as one “near the presidential complex.”
“We have already searched a number of buildings,” he said. “Of course we are searching to try and find people who are trapped, people who are still alive. Even three and a half days after the earthquake the damage is still [bad enough] that we must search for survivors.”
Israel’s ambassador to India, Daniel Carmon sent out a tweet asking for “India’s help to evacuate Israelis stranded in [the] mountains.”