Turkey thanks Israel for saving Turkish lives in earthquake

Israel is “a small state with a giant soul.”

By World Israel News

Turkey’s Ambassador to Israel welcomed Israeli teams returning on Monday from a rescue mission following the devastating earthquake, and thanked the Jewish state for saving 19 Turkish lives.

“Thank you very much Israel,” Shakir Ozkan Torunlar on Monday said in an official ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport welcoming the rescue teams from the so-called Operation Olive Branch.

Torunlar noted that it was “the largest national disaster of the past 100 years,” with 13.5 million people affected, over 31,000 casualties and nearly 100,000 wounded.

“But thanks to the friends of Turkey, many were saved by search and rescue teams in the field,” he said.

“The government of Israel was among the first to provide its team. I salute all who were among those who landed in the disaster zone and immediately started their task. You saved 19 Turks…followed by a field hospital being erected in less than 24 hours and becoming operational.”

He also went on to note the vast array of Israeli civil society and NGOs who “displayed exemplary solidarity with the Turkish people.”

IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi told the rescue teams that the whole country was following every person they saved “from a great human tragedy.”

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“The IDF and Israel are very proud of you,” he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also praised the rescue teams for saving “19 worlds” and showing the world “the good and true face of the State of Israel,” which he said was “a small state with a giant soul.”

“The nation of Israel followed your work with great pride. You brought great honor to the State of Israel,” he said.

Hinting at the political unrest currently roiling the country, Netanyahu went on, “Especially in these days, your service has more significance. You remind us we are one nation, with one fate and one future.”