JERUSALEM, Israel - Despite its small size, Israel is sending a large contingent of aid workers and help to quake-stricken Haiti.
A small advance team left Israel on Wednesday to assess the situation in Haiti.
Two jumbo jets carrying more than 220 doctors, nurses and other Israeli army personnel, including a rescue team and field hospital, are set to leave Israel later Thursday.
"We are doing everything we can in order to ship aid and assistance to that country," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
"A very large rescue unit is preparing to leave in the next couple of hours to Haiti. It includes civil engineers, doctors, medics, [and] rescue workers. There's going to be a trauma unit. It's a large delegation and we're prepared to send more," Palmor said.
Israel offers help to disaster areas because of its tradition to help those in need, Deputy Foreign Ministry spokesman Andy David told CBN News.
The field hospital will include surgical and emergency rooms and can service up to 500 people a day, the army said.
David said Israel is going "full throttle" with this operation because of the "total devastation" in Haiti.
Its vast experience with terrorism, wars and other international disasters have made Israel a world leader in search and rescue, as well emergency medicine and trauma treatment.
*Originally published January 14, 2010.