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Traffic lights lie on a street after being knocked down, as Hurricane Harvey approaches in Corpus Christi, Texas, US August 25, 2017. .(Photo by: REUTERS)
Israeli NGO iAid sends relief team to Texas
By LAHAV HARKOV
08/29/2017
In the long term, iAid hopes to help with technological needs of the community, such as water purification, using Israel innovations.
A team of Israelis headed to Texas on Tuesday to help communities affected by Hurricane Harvey.

International aid organization iAid, a nonprofit based in Israel, sent 10 relief professionals to coordinate efforts with the Texas National Guard and American NGOs.

“We have contacts on the ground there and people in the Jewish community,” said iAid founding director Shachar Zahavi said. “We plan to mainly focus on distribution of relief items and helping people gut out their houses in the short run.”

In the long term, iAid hopes to help with technological needs of the community, such as water purification, using Israel innovations, Zahavi added.

The Israeli government has yet to officially offer or send aid. Earlier this week, the Foreign Ministry recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the Foreign Affairs portfolio, offer aid via US President Donald Trump, but he has yet to make a decision on the matter.

Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday called for helping “our brothers in need.”

“For years, the Jews of Houston were there for us, and now we can be there for them,” Bennett wrote on his Facebook page. “All Israel is responsible for each other,” he concluded, quoting a famous rabbinic saying.

The Facebook post, which was made in both English and Hebrew, called on people to contribute to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund set up by the Jewish Federations of North America and the Houston Jewish Federation.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.
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