Arutz Sheva was on the scene as IDF officials briefed the military delegation before it headed off for Nepal on Sunday, to take part in the emergency rescue and medical efforts following the massive earthquake that struck near Kathmandu on Saturday and has claimed over 2,500 lives.
Brig. Gen. Dr. Dudu Dagan of the IDF Medical Corps spoke at the briefing about the field hospital his forces plan to build at the disaster site.
He noted the field hospital would be a tertiary hospital, "meaning we can operate, we can have intensive care, we can hospitalize, and even escort...the injured to Israel."
Col. Yoram Laredo, the commander of the Israeli delegation, noted that the challenges facing the Israeli team start with their very arrival at the Kathmandu airport, given the fact that the earthquake wrought damage at the landing site. He said the issue is being looked into to ensure the Israeli crew will be able to arrive and start their work unhindered.
"What the IDF stands for"
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with Laredo on Sunday, telling him "you are being sent on an important mission. This is the true face of Israel – a country that offers aid over any distance at such moments. Good luck. We are counting on you."
Also being briefed on the mission was President Reuven Rivlin, who spoke with senior Home Front Command officer Brig. Gen. Yoel Strick ahead of the departure of the 260 member search, rescue and medical team to Kathmandu.
"My blessings go to all the team undertaking this brave and humanitarian mission," Rivlin said. "I am proud of you and your staff for their speedy and impressive enlistment at such a time of need. This delegation of 'messenger angels' represents the universal values, in the spirit of our people and our country, and through you, I wish to thank each and every one of them."
Strick explained to the president that the first plane of the mission had already landed during the secondary earthquake which occurred on Sunday.
He related how he received hundreds of applications from professionals and rescue groups who wanted to be dispatched on the aid mission.
"We have set out on a mission which symbolizes all that the IDF stands for, and we are greatly proud of this," said Strick.