Israel's Operation Olive Branch security team was forced to surrender its weapons when it arrived in Turkey to assist with the search and rescue mission following the deadly earthquakes last week, according to a Ynet report that was confirmed by the IDF.
According to the report, Turkish officials told the Israeli team that since other countries' teams didn't have weapons, Israel's couldn't either. Even after the Israeli team explained that the risk to Israelis was different from that of other countries, and after the Israeli Embassy in Ankara got involved, the Israeli team still had to hand over its weapons, and the team was given Turkish security instead.
Turkish officials reportedly told the Israeli team that they were the only ones who requested to provide their own security "and it's unacceptable."
Israel ends its mission due to security threat
The United Hatzalah rescue team announced that it was ending its activity in Turkey on Sunday after the team was forced to return following an alert of a security threat to the team. The search and rescue team returned to Israel after saving 19 people from the rubble, although some doctors remained for a few more days to assist with surgeries for people rescued from the rubble.
The IDF confirmed the report to Ynet and added that the details of Israeli security had been decided at a situation assessment before the team's departure and had been agreed upon with Turkey.