Netanyahu 311 reuters.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that he spoke again to the prime minister
of New Zealand on Monday and told him that he had asked Homeland Minister
Security Matan Vilna’i – who happens to be visiting Australia – to go there and
head Israel’s so-far unofficial delegation.
Speaking at a Likud faction
meeting, the prime minister said that he asked New Zealand Prime Minister John
Key to allow the delegation to be upgraded to an official one and to help in the
effort to find two Israelis still unaccounted for after last week’s Christchurch
earthquake that left over 150 people dead. Additionally, the prime minister
requested permission to use cellular data and tracking technologies to locate
the two backpackers.
Israel has prepared a planeload of supplies to send
to New Zealand but it has not departed.
Early on Monday, eight policemen
from various branches of the Israel Police arrived in Christchurch to help with
rescue and recovery efforts. The police left on Saturday night with the full
cooperation of the New Zealand’s prime minister and Foreign Ministry, police
spokesman Ch.-Supt. Micky Rosenfeld said.
The policemen include the head
of the force’s forensics department and an expert in DNA identification, as well
as representatives from investigation and intelligence departments. The officers
will work in various crisis capacities in conjunction with authorities in
Christchurch, looking for survivors and helping with
Rosenfeld said emergency services were still holding out
hope of finding survivors after February 22’s earthquake.
been found up to two weeks afterwards, you never know what potholes exist under
the rubble,” he told The Jerusalem Post