Gov. DeSantis Welcomes Israel Defense Force To Help With Rescue Efforts For Condo Collapse

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Kent Shi Contributor
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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis welcomed experts of the Home Front Command search-and-rescue team from Israel Defense Force (IDF) Sunday to strengthen the recovery mission at the Surfside Condo Collapse site. 

The IDF team was also greeted by other prominent officials of the Sunshine State before embarking on their mission. Republican Florida Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio both voiced their gratitude for the Israeli team, as well as assistance from Mexico. The newly-elected Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett offered his prayers and support.

DeSantis greenlighted the Israeli team’s entry after considering the request by many families at Surfside, the home of over 2,000 Jewish residents, almost half of the total municipal population. People with Jewish heritage are reportedly among the dozens missing. (RELATED: Condo Collapse Aftermath: At Least 4 Dead As Search Continues For 159 Missing People In Miami)

“I’ve stood there for 17 to 18 hours on my feet from 7 AM until I went to sleep, now I’m on the way back there again,” said a family member of one of the unaccounted victims.

“It’s been so heart-wrenching to see what the families are going through and knowing that we can’t do more,” said Rabbi Mendy Levy.

Expressing frustration toward DeSantis, Washington Post reporter Hannah Dreier alleged that the governor’s response to the disaster has been insufficient. However, according to the Federalist, Dreier never reached out to the governor’s press team for comment regarding Florida’s timely approval of deployment by the Federal Emergency Management Administration. 

However, Democratic Mayor of Miami-Dade Danielle Levine Cava dispelled the suggestion that DeSantis was at fault for the lack of resources in an interview with NBC News, saying that “the state of Florida has been here in force.” (RELATED: Building Inspector Was On Roof Of Florida Condo Just Hours Before It Collapsed)

Israel has gained experience in search-and-rescue from missions around the world at the time of disasters, and domestic tragedies, including frequent attacks by Hamas.

Meanwhile, DeSantis has been a vocal supporter of Israel and the Jewish community. In his fight against alleged big tech censorship, he questioned why Twitter allows blatant anti-Semitism by Iranian leaders while de-platforming former President Donald Trump.