A presidential word of gratitude. Members of the Israeli search and rescue delegation to Haiti, which setup a field hospital in the devastated country and also registered a number of successful rescue operations in Port-au-Prince, received a phone call from President Shimon Peres Tuesday afternoon in a show of thanks.
Peres said, "You have saved lives and brought life. I speak on behalf of the entire nation who thanks you for your dedication, your capability, and your volunteerism, for bringing relief to the victims and pride to the country."
In a conversation with the head of the Israeli delegation Brig. Gen. Shalom Ben-Arieh that was broadcast over the field hospital's public announcement system to all the soldiers, doctors, and rescue team members, the president said, "The terrible disaster that has befallen Haiti, an earthquake that has shaken hearts around the world, that left us crying and helpless called for superior and purposeful volunteerism. You responded to this call out of sensitivity, attention, and concern for every little girl and every man."
Peres lavished praises on the Israeli team's actions. "The entire nation is watching you every day with a crying heart and deep concern. You have brought the IDF's capability to its pinnacle. It is not only the Israeli defense force, but the people's defense force. It does not matter where disaster strikes, you are the first and the best organized to help.
The president, who concluded his conversation with the words "thank you," said, "I speak with much emotion. We are watching you from afar everyday and feel so close and so real. I know that you will do everything possible in order to continue saving lives and bringing hope to an impossible situation and a disaster unlike any other."