Skip to main content

Israel's rescue teams arrive in Turkey, will establish field hospital for earthquake victims

Three Israeli rescue delegations are already on the ground, with more humanitarian aid expected in the coming days.
eople try to rescue their loved ones, believed to be trapped under collapsed building on February 07, 2023 in Iskenderun, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday.

Four Israeli rescue delegations arrived to Turkey on Tuesday, with more assistance planned to be transferred to the earthquake’s areas in the coming days, with the goal of establishing a field hospital on Wednesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition head Yair Lapid noted on Monday that Israel stands united in its desire to assist the Turkish people in anyway it can. On Monday night, Tel Aviv lit its city hall in the colors of the Turkish flag in sign of solidarity.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced Monday night that Israel will set up a field hospital in one of the hardest-hit areas. Israel’s ambassador to Turkey, Irit Lillian, said in a radio interview that a supplies for a field hospital will arrive Wednesday morning and the facility become operational in a matter of days. Workers have already started loading equipment onto a plane at Ben-Gurion Airport, but because of stormy conditions the cargo might have to depart for Turkey from the IDF air force base Nevatim in the south of Israel.

The first Israeli rescue team arrived on Monday evening to assess the needs on the ground and prepare for the arrival of the second, larger delegation. The second delegation arrived early Tuesday morning, some 150 serving and reserve IDF officers specialized in rescue, firefighting, paramedical care and medical staff. The delegation brought hundreds of cold-weather sleeping bags and tents and some 1,500 food rations. More humanitarian equipment is expected on a separate flight. Landing in Adana, the delegation quickly separated into smaller teams and headed to different rescue sites.

A third delegation, organized by the Israeli United Hatsala first-aid volunteer organization, arrived to Gaziantep, another epicenter of the devastation, on Tuesday afternoon. The delegation of a few dozen Israeli doctors, paramedics, rescue operators and trauma specialists brought several more tons of humanitarian equipment.

A fourth delegation from the IsraAid NGO arrived to Gaziantep Tuesday evening. The delegation will assess the long-term assistance the region will require before sending in a larger team. The IsraAid team brought with it water, biofilters and other initial aid. 

In 1999, Israel sent a rescue delegation of 250 rescue personnel and 100 doctors to assist the Turkish region of Izmit when it was struck by a severe earthquake.

Ambassador David Saranga, director of the Foreign Ministry's digital diplomacy bureau, accompanied the delegation in Adana.

Saranga told Al-Monitor, "The Israeli assistance is designed first and foremost to help the Turkish people in these very difficult times. During the last period, relations between Israel and Turkey have grown warmer, step by step. If the current assistance would also contribute to strengthening bilateral relations, then by all means."

Saranga noted that in the past few years, the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Israel Defense forces have offered humanitarian assistance to several countries in distress, including Nepal, the Philippines, Haiti and others. 

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

Text Alerts - Be the first to get breaking news, exclusives, and PRO content.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial