Regional Crisis and Regional Cooperation: Israeli Response to the Earthquake in Syria and Turkey

Nir Boms and Joelle Rosenthal have published an article for "Fikra Forum", which discusses Israel's multifaceted role in aiding rescue efforts in Syria and Turkey following the major earthquake experienced on February 6, 2023.

"While Israel has long been active in emergency disaster relief missions in various countries around the world, four aspects of these current efforts are especially noteworthy. First, they involve both official teams from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and a range of relevant Israeli NGOs working in parallel. Second, some of those NGOs are actively partnering with NGOs from other regional countries, both Turkish and Arab. Third, several of these NGOs have committed to ongoing aid efforts past the immediate rescue and relief period to facilitate long-term reconstruction. And fourth, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public announcement that part of Israel's humanitarian aid would be delivered inside Syria marked a new development in its relationship with its northern neighbor—although the Assad regime refused such aid, and it is consequently being provided without publicity."

"While both Turkey and Syria have received significant aid in the direct aftermath of the earthquake, it is likely that the attention of the world will soon turn elsewhere. However, some Israeli organizations have committed to long-term missions and understand that help is still needed—they remain in the field and continue their donation efforts. Now, with new relationships founded on these aid efforts, they hope to not only provide aid but also demonstrate a rare moment of unity that can be replicated not just in times of crisis but also in times of peace."