Thursday Feb 22, 2024
Thursday Feb 22, 2024

Israel gears up to send aid to quake-hit Morocco

2023 Sep 10, 8:13, Israel

 Israel is preparing to send search and rescue personnel and humanitarian aid to Morocco after an earthquake killed more than 1,000 in the North African country on Friday.

The earthquake’s epicentre was in the Atlas Mountains southwest of Marrakech and measured 6.8 on the Richter scale. More than 1,000 have been injured, according to Morocco’s Interior Ministry. The number is expected climb as rescue workers reach isolated areas.

“Following the tragic earthquake in Morocco, the Prime Minister has instructed all government bodies and forces to provide any necessary assistance to the people of Morocco, including preparations for sending an aid delegation to the area,” said a statement issued by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Saturday night.

“The people of Israel extend their hands to our friends, the people of Morocco, at this difficult time and pray for their well-being. We will help in any way we can,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant instructed the Israel Defense Forces “to prepare to provide immediate emergency assistance via the rescue bodies in the Home Front Command.”

However, the search and rescue teams and humanitarian relief delegations were waiting for a response from Moroccan officials before leaving Israel.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that so far, there are no reports of Israeli casualties, adding that it working to contact with Israelis in Morocco to ensure their safety.

The ministry also said that Israeli consul in Rabat Dorit Avidani has been dispatched to the western Moroccan region to assess needs.

Israel and Morocco normalized relations in December 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords. In July, Israel recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara, which has paved the way for Morocco to upgrade its liaison office in Tel Aviv to an embassy.

An estimated one million Israelis are either from Morocco or are of Moroccan descent.

Approximately 3,000 Jews currently live in the North African country.

More than 200,000 Israelis visited Morocco in 2022, as coronavirus travel restrictions came to an end.


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