Jordanian official to attend emergency-readiness parley here

Jordanian official to at

mohammed al-hadid 88 (photo credit: )
mohammed al-hadid 88
(photo credit: )
A top Jordanian official will visit Israel next month to participate in an IDF conference called IPRED - International Preparedness and Response to Emergencies and Disasters - that will be held in Tel Aviv and has already attracted over 200 foreign nationals from 30 different countries. The conference is co-hosted by the IDF Home Front Command and the Health Ministry and will start Sunday, January 10 and end on January 14. During the conference, participants will observe an unconventional-weapons drill at an Israeli hospital. The conference, the first of its kind in Israel, will focus on several themes, including preparedness and response to emergencies and disasters, mass casualty events, public behavior, risk communication and mental health during and following emergencies, as well as the role international and national agencies play in disaster medicine, explained Lt.-Col. Dr. Bella Azaria from the Home Front Command. One of the keynote speakers at the conference will be Dr. Muhammad al-Hadid, president of the Jordan Red Crescent Society and chairman of the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the highest body in the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Other speakers include OC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan and Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman. Azaria said that the conference was important for boosting the Home Front Command's standing in Israel and the world. "When someone from the Home Front Command gives you orders during a time of emergency why should you listen?" she asked rhetorically. "This conference will help give us more credibility and standing." Al-Hadid's participation in the conference, Azaria said, was important since he in addition to holding the rank of a government minister in Jordan, he was also the official in the Red Cross responsible for the Middle East and Asia. Earlier this week, The Jerusalem Post submitted a story about Hadid's visit to the military censor, which blocked its publication, claiming that Hadid would cancel his visit if it was published in an Israeli media outlet. After the Post referred the censor's office to the official conference Web site - set up by the IDF and the Health Ministry - which lists Hadid as one of the keynote speakers at the conference and displays a picture of him with a short bio, the censor reversed its decision. Ties between the IDF and the Jordanian military are usually kept secret, despite the peace treaty signed between the countries in 1994. In November, the Home Front Command and the Jordanian military held a joint search-and-rescue exercise in the Jordan Valley. The teams drilled potential scenarios that could unfold following a massive earthquake in the region.