Israel first to send aid to Colombian flood victims

Security consultant Major-General (reserves) Israel Ziv has just returned from the stricken South American country.

"It's painful to see what is happening in the regions hit by disaster in Colombia. The country finally pulled out of a complex security situation in recent years, and was on the path to prosperity and development, and now it's been hit by nature. We will have to see how we cope with disaster here," said Global CST president Major-General (reserves) Yisrael Ziv. Global CST provides security consultancy and development services to overseas countries including the Colombian government.

Ziv, a former head of the IDF Operations Directorate and commander of the Gaza Division is close to the Colombian leadership. Two years ago, his name was linked to the training of the Colombian army special forces that freed presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt who was being held hostage by the FARC guerrilla organization.

Last week, Ziv returned to Israel after witnessing massive loss of life throughout Colombia due to floods and mudslides. He observed that in the past few weeks there has been unprecedented rainfall in the country and flooding throughout Colombia. He said, "Dams in regions close to cities have been breached and snow that has settled on the hilltops has caused huge mudslides and land erosion. In one instance in the Cali region, an entire hill collapsed on a playground and buried many dozens of children."

Sources in Colombia estimate that hundreds have been killed in the floods in recent weeks and two million people have been left homeless. Most of the damage has been in Medellin. Following the disaster, Israel sent a plane last week with over 50 tons of medicines, blankets and food.

The aid was coordinated between Minister of Defense Ehud Barak and Ministry of Defense director general Udi Shani on the Israel side and Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos and Colombian Ministry of Defense officials.

Ziv said, "The Colombian leaders declared a national state of emergency and every government minister is responsible for handling the catastrophe in the various regions of the country. The damage is vast and currently believed to amount to about $10 billion. They will have to rebuild highway infrastructures, buildings and dams and this work will cost a great deal. They'll have to build from scratch. Many countries, including its neighbor Ecuador, have sent aid but the assistance sent by Israel last week was the biggest and reflects the very close relations that have developed between the two countries in recent years."

Ziv explained that the Colombian leaders told him that they were moved by the Israeli aid and the assistance captured major media headlines in the South American country.

He said, "This was the most significant aid sent to the disaster-hit region. We shouldn't forget that all this happened only a few days after Israel needed international assistance to extinguish the Carmel forest fire and despite that we showed sensitivity to the problems of others."

He added, "We have to understand that in the global war all of us must cooperate because the world is changing and natural disasters have become a permanent reality. The way things look at the moment, this story in Colombia looks like being a long story."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 21, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

5 Comments
View comments in rows
Update by email about comments talkback
POST
Comments
Your name
Please insert your name
Content
Hyperlink in a new window Hyperlink Right Left underline italic bold Bulleted List Ordered List Face1 Face2 Face3 Face4 Face5 Face6
Your comment

Thanks
You comment was recieved and soon will be published.
In posting comments, I agree to abide by the Terms of Use
Globes encourages lively and frank debate, but posts that the editors consider merely abusive or otherwise inappropriate will be removed. Report inappropriate content
Thank you for posting your comment, which will be reviewed for publication.
Loading Comments...load
Load more comments
MORE FROM GLOBES
Benjamin Netanyahu Netanyahu: The boys were kidnapped by Hamas

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatens "dire consequences" following the kidnapping.

Benjamin Netanyahu Questions over police response to kidnapping

Hours passed before a search operation was launched. Netanyahu holds Palestinians responsible.

Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu Netanyahu bought furniture at public expense - report

"Yediot Ahronot": Attorney General is investigating if Netanyahu family bought furniture for its Caesarea private home.

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer  picture: Tamar Mitzpi Binyamin Ben-Eliezer questioned by police again

Ben-Eliezer's son Yariv is also suspected of receiving money from Avraham Nanikashvili.

Ruby Rivlin Reuven Rivlin elected president

Rivlin defeated Meir Sheetrit 63:53 in the second round vote in the Knesset.

Meir Sheetrit Meir Sheetrit discloses owning five homes

The Presidential candidate has bowed to public pressure and declared his assets.

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer  picture: Tamar Mitzpi Police find $600,000 cash in Ben-Eliezer's bank

The source of the money found in Binyamin Ben-Eliezer's safety deposit box is unclear.

Ruby Rivlin Presidential candidate Ruby Rivlin discloses assets

Dalia Dorner also disclosed her wealth, but Meir Sheetrit refused.

Dalia Itzik Dalia Itzik bought Tel Aviv home for NIS 4.6m last year

The Presidential candidate and former Knesset Speaker also owns two apartments in Jerusalem.

Erel Margalit The venture capitalist who wants to transform Israel

Labor MK Erel Margalit tells "Globes" about his plans to improve the Start-Up Nation.

IDF soldier Combat cameramen disprove Palestinian propaganda

A unit of highly trained combat soldiers uses cameras to document military operations.

Turkish bizarre

Truth is proving stranger than folktale as Turkey's spins out of Prime Minister Erdogan's control.

Prof. Zvi Eckstein supports NIS 3.30-3.40/$ floor rate

The former deputy Bank of Israel Governor is the first senior figure from the financial system to advocate a floor rate.

2014 will be year of change

Forces reshaping the Middle East are coming to a head, with Russia taking a close interest, and the West seemingly indifferent.

Gains and losses for Middle East secularists

Recent developments in Egypt, Syria and Turkey have clarified some issues, and obfuscated others.

Robot warfare Developing robots for warfare

Israeli research sees the future battlefield dominated by robots and unmanned devices.

Geneva changes Middle East strategic map

As the consequences of the nuclear agreement with Iran emerge, regional powers are scrambling to adapt.

Egypt has no time to lose

Unless economic reforms are introduced quickly, the country is liable to relapse into Islamic extremism.

Strange goings on in Turkey

Two recent decisions by Turkish prime minister Erdoğan make it look as though he is losing his grip.

See you in six months, Rouhani

Israel may look isolated over the nuclear deal with Iran, but the cards could yet fall its way.

China is changing

The Third Plenum of the Communist Party of the Peoples' Republic of China marks a turning-point in all areas of Chinese life - with consequences for Israel.

French gov't proposes building 2 Tel Aviv light rail lines

The Green Line from Herzliya to Holon and the Purple Line from Kiryat Ono to Tel Aviv would cost NIS 30 billion to build.

Israel's factious coalition looks wobbly on Iran

Besides US opposition, the state of Israel's government makes an attack on Iran unlikely.

Budget cuts threaten 10,000 defense industry jobs

Senior executives warn many factories are in danger of closing due to the drying up of defense ministry's orders.

Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס