Haiti school collapse 248.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke of the "best traditions of the
Jewish people" when referring to the help Israeli rescue and medical teams
following last Tuesday's devastating earthquake.
Speaking at the
start of Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu called the quake a
"horrific tragedy," saying it was 's duty to help the Haitian
"What happened there is a large-scale disaster of very great
proportions," he said. "The lack of protective measures only deepened
the tragedy. I think that it is our obligation, as the State of Israel, as the
state of the Jewish people, to mobilize immediately - which we have done."
"As soon as I learned of the dimensions of the disaster, I ordered that
a team be dispatched," he continued. "It left with the characteristic
speed of the IDF, in coordination with the Foreign Ministry."
He said the defense establishment had sent a team which had begun to work
and was already saving lives.
"I think that this is in the best tradition of the Jewish People; this
is the true covenant of
the State of Israel and the Jewish people," he
added, stressing that it followed operations carried out in and .
"Despite being a small country, we have responded with a big
heart," continued the prime minister. "The fact is, I know, that this
was an expression of our Jewish heritage and the Jewish ethic of helping one's
fellow man. I hope that the team saves lives and that succeeds
in recovering from this awful tragedy."
Early Sunday, rescuers pulled a dehydrated but otherwise uninjured woman
from the ruins of a luxury hotel in the Haitian capital, an event greeted with
applause from onlookers witnessing rare good news in a city otherwise filled
with corpses, rubble and desperation.
"It's a little miracle," the woman's husband, Reinhard Riedl, said
after hearing she was alive in the wreckage. "She's one tough cookie. She
For many, though, the five days since the magnitude-7.0 quake hit have
turned into an aching wait for the food, water and medical care slowly making
its way from an overwhelmed airport rife with political squabbles. And while
aid is reaching the country, growing impatience among the suffering has spawned
Nobody knows how many died in Tuesday's quake. 's government alone has
already recovered 20,000 bodies - not counting those recovered by independent
agencies or relatives themselves, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told The
The Pan American Health Organization now says 50,000 to 100,000 people
perished in the quake.
Bellerive said 100,000 would "seem to be the minimum."