Serbian army soldiers evacuate people in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, Serbia May 17, 2014..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel is sending aid to help rescue efforts in Serbia and Bosnia, where record floods have submerged cities and left more than two dozen dead and thousands homeless.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke on Sunday with his Serbian counterpart Alexander Vučić to offer Israeli assistance to the region to help cope with the aftermath of the disaster.
The premier said that Israel has already sent 1.5 million tons of medical and humanitarian aid to Serbia.
Local media reported that Israel sent a first shipment of emergency aid this weekend including medicine, food, blankets and rain gear, and will soon send pumps. The aid was delivered by helicopter because cities were cut off by the flooding.
The town of Doboj in Bosnia’s Republic of Serbia region, which has a small Jewish community, was especially hard hit, with the city center totally under water and at least 20 dead, the town mayor told local media. Doboj’s Jewish community building, which has a synagogue on an upper floor, is located in the town center.
Jasna Ciric, the president of the Jewish community in Nis, Serbia, said that she understood that all members of the Doboj Jewish community were safe but some were trapped in their homes without electricity, water or telephones.
Aleksander Nikolic, the assistant chief representative of the Republic of Serbia in Israel, said the Israeli aid was a “very human gesture” and “proof of friendship in a most difficult moment,” according to local media.