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Sabra Express | Seismic Event

Yonah Jeremy Bob, Jerusalem Post, February 6th, 2023


Recap:

Israeli rescue personnel were dispatched to Turkey to assist with the earthquake disaster response as part of Operation Olive Branch.


The Context:

· A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria early Monday, toppling buildings and triggering a frantic search for survivors [1]. 20,000 people have died, making it the deadliest seismic event in more than a decade [2].

· The IDF Home Front Command is regularly dispatched around the world to assist in natural disasters, undertaking 31 missions in 40 years. A team sent to Surfside, Florida, in 2021 helped rescue efforts at a deadly condo collapse [3]. The delegation also included a team of 25 Hatzalah members consisting of medics, doctors, search and rescue personnel, and psychotrauma specialists [4].

· In 2020, Israel offered Turkey aid following a deadly earthquake, although Ankara did not accept the assistance. Relations between the two countries have since improved [5]. Israel claims Syria requested assistance with earthquake relief and that it was prepared to oblige, however, the Syrian government denied it had made such a request. Israel previously helped evacuate Syrian rebels and rescue workers across the Golan Heights [6].

· Israel lies along the Syrian-African rift, an active fault line that runs the length of the border. Experts have long warned that Israel is overdue for a major earthquake that could cause significant damage to the country. The last major earthquake took place in 1927 and killed hundreds [7].


Conversation Points:

· Can Israel’s international outreach help bridge the divide with hostile neighbors?

· Why is Israel on the forefront on emergency response?

· What is the importance of performing humanitarian assistance under the Israeli flag?


Notes:

1. Israel To Dispatch Emergency Aid, Teams to Earthquake-Stricken Turkey, Amy Spiro and Lazar Berman, Times of Israel, February 6th, 2023

2. Over 20,000 dead from quake in Turkey and Syria, By Tara Subramaniam, Sana Noor Haq, Ed Upright, Adrienne Vogt and Matt Meyer, CNN, February 9th 2023

3. Israel To Dispatch Emergency Aid, Teams to Earthquake-Stricken Turkey, Amy Spiro and Lazar Berman, Times of Israel, February 6th, 2023

4. Israel's United Hatzalah Sets Out for Turkey to Provide Earthquake Aid, Michael Starr, Jerusalem Post, February 7th, 2023

5. Israel To Dispatch Emergency Aid, Teams to Earthquake-Stricken Turkey, Amy Spiro and Lazar Berman, Times of Israel, February 6th, 2023

6. Israel Says It's Poised to Send Quake Aid for Old Foe Syria, Dan Williams, Reuters, February 6th, 2023

7. Israel To Dispatch Emergency Aid, Teams to Earthquake-Stricken Turkey, Amy Spiro and Lazar Berman, Times of Israel, February 6th, 2023


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