Haiti president thanks Israel

By Jessica Elgot, January 22, 2010
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Magen David Adom in Haiti

Magen David Adom in Haiti

Haitian President Rene Preval has expressed his gratitude for the aid that Israel has given to his stricken country, where more than 200,000 people are believed to have died in the earthquake last week.

Israel has sent members of the IDF, doctors and engineers, as well as Magen David Adom and various other charitable organisations. The IDF field hospital has treated more than 450 patients, and its doctors have delivered seven babies.

Now, at the request of the UN and the US, Israel will send 100 armed police officers to help peacekeeping efforts in Haiti.

Mr Preval said the earthquake had not only killed thousands but had rendered his government completely helpless.

He said: "One must understand that the damage caused was comprehensive and has affected every aspect of Haitian society.”

The policemen will be given physical and mental training to deal with the situation in Haiti before they leave Israel.

Magen David Adom, who have also set up a field hospital in Port-au-Prince, have helped rescue a 10-year-old French Jewish boy whose mother Lisa, a UN employee, was killed in the earthquake.

His grandparents in France were told about his mother’s death, but no one knew what had happened to the boy. A family member in Israel contacted Magen David Adom’s Missing Persons department and his photo was placed on their website.

He was found by another UN employee a few days later and MDA informed his grandparents he was safe and well. He will be taken back to France by his aunt.

Last updated: 4:00pm, January 22 2010