Israel ready for helping Turkey
Following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake which hit the eastern province of Van in Turkey yesterday, Israeli Chief of General Staff Gen. Benny Gantz announced that the Israeli army was getting ready for helping earthquake victims and that a team would arrive in Turkey, once the permission is issued by the government. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed Amos Gilad, director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the ministry, to contact relevant Turkish officials in order to offer all the help it needs. Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon, who is currently in Germany as part of an official visit, stated that Israel was always ready for giving a helping hand in natural disasters. Furthermore, the Haaretz daily wrote that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also ordered his ministry to contact Turkish officials to offer humanitarian aid. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor stated that Israel was willing to provide Turkey with all sorts of aid from food to medical equipment, health and search and rescue teams. President Shimon Peres also called his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul to express his condolences and offered help.