Israeli team ends operations because of "conrete threat"
A rescue team from Israel ended its mission in Turkey on Sunday amid an imminent security threat, reported Israeli news outlet JNS.
The team had been dispatched by United Hatzallah, a community-based volunteer organization in Israel.
"The decision came following a situational assessment by the head of the Israel Defense Forces' 400-plus-strong humanitarian delegation sent to Turkey last week in the wake of the massive earthquakes," JNS said, adding:
"The United Hatzalah team was flown back to Israel on Dr. Miriam Adelson's private jet due to the urgency of the threat and the unavailability of other flights."
United Hatzalah Vice President of Operations Dov Maisel said:
"We knew that there was a certain level of risk in sending our team to this area of Turkey, which is close to the Syrian border, but we took the necessary steps in order to mitigate the threat for the sake of our lifesaving mission (...) Unfortunately, we have just received intelligence of a concrete and immediate threat on the Israeli delegation and we have to put the security of our personnel first. We are extremely proud of what our team has accomplished in just a few days, assisting in the rescue of 15 individuals in cooperation with the IDF Home Front Command, Israel’s Search and Rescue units, local rescue forces, and the Turkish Red Cross."
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has sent 230 medical and emergency response experts to set up a field hospital in Maras, and a 150-member Home Front Command search and rescue team.