On Sunday, two planes left Israel headed for earthquake ravaged Nepal. Israel has sent some 260 rescue personnel to Nepal, heads above the number any other country has deployed.
The planes were carrying Magen David Adom, IDF, and Foreign Ministry personnel as well as a field hospital. Once on the ground, the experts accessed the situation to provide long-term aid to impacted Nepalese as well as provide a way for stranded Israelis to return back home.
As of Sunday, there were 250 Israelis unaccounted for but believed to be in Nepal. As of today, only one is unaccounted for.
In addition to the tourists, 26 babies born to Nepalese surrogates and their Israeli parents were stuck in the region. Those babies were also transported back to Israel on the rescue planes.
Yehonathan Lebel, deputy chief of mission at the embassy said the Israeli earthquake survivors are understandably traumatized by what has happened in the last few days as well as the very real danger of more aftershocks.
“We are all a bit shaken here,” Lebel told The Jerusalem Post. “We went out and we started offering the Israelis the option to come to the embassy because there is still a warning about aftershocks,” Lebel said. “I have no intention of going to my apartment to sleep tonight.”
In addition to rescuing stranded Israeli, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised aid to devastated Nepalese communities. The experts in Nepal will help make that relief a reality.
“Israel feels the pain of the disaster that struck your country. The state of Israel will make available emergency, rescue and medical assistance,” Netanyahu said. “The first such team left already tonight. We will help look for those and treat the wounded. On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I send our condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. The state of Israel and its citizens stands by your side in this moment.”