Israeli Medical Team Joins in Philippine Relief

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BEN GURION AIRPORT, Israel - Israel is one of those nations sending out medical teams to lend a helping hand in the Philippines where typhoons have devastated the area. 

An israeli medical team on now its way to the island nation to assist in the relief work.  

Shachar Zahavi, founder of IsraAID, brought the team together. 
"IsraAID is a coalition, an umbrella organization of 17 Jewish organizations, that provide humanitarian aid to developing countries," Zahavi explained. "Each organization has its own specialty. The group going now to the Philippines are specializing in disaster relief and search and rescue."  

But for days the team had no one to work with on the ground. Operation Blessing Israel played an invaluable role in connecting this Israeli medical team with the Operation Blessing team in the Philippines. 

"This morning Israid called me to say they'd like to send a medical team to the Philippines but they had no contacts on the ground and could we help and we said without a doubt and we immediately started to work go put it together," Charmaine Hedding, director of operation blessing Israel, said. "And here we are at the airport this evening with the team ready to go to fly to the Philippines right now."
The Israeli volunteers say they simply want to help.

"The Jewish people and Israel have a special corner in our heart when we see poor people or people in big trouble," Elad Seker, team leader, said. "It's like in the DNA or something.  We can leave everything and go to help. To rescue, to help, to give medical treatment. It's something. I don't know how to say it in English but it's very deep. It's very, it's inside the DNA."

The team will stay for two weeks to possibly be followed by a second Israeli team.



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