Shortly after the devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, and Col. Yoram Laredo, of the IDF Home Front, discussed ways to assist the country.

Just before the meeting, Netanyahu said, “You are being sent on an important mission. This is the real face of Israel — a country that offers help at any distance in moments such as these.”

The Home Front Command assistance team Israel is sending in approximately 260 personnel. At the time of the meeting, an advance team was already in Nepal, preparing for the rest of the team to arrive.

The team’s goals are locating missing Israelis, rescuing people trapped under rubble, and providing the thousands of earthquake victims with medical care.

An extensive field hospital will be set up as well. “As time passes, the focus will move from search and rescue to hospital treatment. The hospital can treat 200 patients a day,” Laredo said. “We can link up with local heavy engineering vehicles.”

Israeli delegations have assisted in many disasters, including in Haiti and the Philippines.“It’s a blessed thing that a variety of Israeli delegations are going, as from my experience, in situations like this, everyone who arrives will be needed and have work to do,” said Dov Meisel, a volunteer paramedic.

“The Nepal government asked for help, and Israelis rush to help,” Meisel said.

Besides writing, R. McKinley loves reading (especially historical fiction and science books), playing piano and flute, being involved in politics and community, working out, enjoying nature, and hanging out with four wonderful cats.