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April 27, 2021 3:19 pm

Israel Joins Global Rush of Aid to Help ‘Great Friend’ India Battle Sharp Rise in COVID-19 Cases

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

People with breathing problems due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) wait to receive oxygen support for free at a Gurudwara (Sikh temple) in Ghaziabad, India, April 27, 2021

Israel is joining countries around the world in sending aid to India and in helping with “whatever may be necessary” to stem the fast spread of coronavirus infections across the country.

India has been suffering from a shortage of medical supplies such as life-saving oxygen and ventilators as the country is battling with 350,000 new daily Covid-19 infections and overcrowded hospitals.

“One of the countries in which the pandemic is spreading brutally is our friend India. On behalf of all ministers and citizens of Israel, I would like to send our condolences to my friend, Indian PM Modi, and to the citizens of India over the tragic loss of life happening there,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday. “I have instructed the head of the National Security Council to render such assistance as may be requested. I hope that there will be an international effort, in which Israel is ready to be a full partner, to stop this tragedy.”

“We are ahead of all other countries vis-à-vis the rate of fully vaccinating our citizens and this is very impressive. Even as we rejoice here, we still understand that large sections of humanity are suffering greatly. In any case, we are ready to help with whatever may be necessary,” Netanyahu added.

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Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Pacific Gilad Cohen said that since Sunday, Israel — under the guidance of Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi — has been organizing support from government, private sector and Israeli citizens to help “our great friend” India.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed,” Cohen tweeted.

Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat said he spoke with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, to assure him that Israel stands united with India in its fight against COVID-19 and is “committed to providing any support during these tough times,” according to Ron Malka, Israel’s ambassador to India.

Israel is joining the US, which this week announced assistance for medical equipment and protective gear for India, after the UK, France and Germany offered aid with resources and supplies. “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need,” US President Joe Biden said Sunday on Twitter.

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