Wednesday, January 13, 2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has sent a delegation of experts to Haiti and U.S. Jewish groups are collecting donations in the aftermath of a massive earthquake.

The Israel group sent to the Caribbean nation includes engineering, medical, logistics, and rescue experts from the Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command.

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Tuesday afternoon was the strongest in Haiti in 200 years. The National Palace and United Nations peacekeeper headquarters were among the many buildings that suffered damage.

Israel’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who also serves Haiti, said Wednesday morning that the embassy had not been able to reach Jewish families in Haiti due to downed telephone lines.

The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid, a coordinating body of Israeli and Jewish organizations and other interested parties based in Israel, also was set to dispatch a 12-man search-and-rescue team, which includes emergency medical staff. IsraAID also was considering sending a field hospital, including doctors and medical equipment, as well as humanitarian aid.

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