Israelis have been watching the unfolding tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath with deep concern, and from the highest levels of government to the individual grass-roots efforts, they have been offering assistance and support to the parts of the US that were hit hard by the natural disaster.
“I want to point out that the US has stood by us during difficult times and it is our duty to assist it in the areas in which we can help,” said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the beginning of the government’s weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. “I want to reiterate my condolences and my sharing in the grief there. We will do everything in our power to render assistance in the difficult situation in which so many US citizens find themselves.”
“Last week I sent a letter to US President George Bush in which I expressed my condolences and those of the Israeli people over the disaster. I want to thank Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Health Minister Danny Naveh whom we turned to in order to verify what aid for the US victims could be readied within a short time. Within a few hours I received answers and thus I was able to pass on the estimates regarding the assistance that Israel could render. A Defense Ministry and Health Ministry aid delegation will leave this week in order to coordinate what may be done there,” he announced.
Sharon’s letter to Bush included an offer of comprehensive medical assistance, expressing a willingness to send hundreds of doctors, nurses, experts in trauma and natural disasters, field hospitals and medical kits and other equipment, as well as temporary housing.
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