Live Updates: #IDFinPhilippines Rescue Mission

#IDFinPhilippinesIn the wake of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the IDF is carrying out “Operation Islands of Hope”:  A 150-member team left for the Philippines on November 13, 2013, in order to provide search & rescue, and medical services.

This post will provide updates as they become available. All times are Israeli time (GMT +2). Times are approximate. 

Make sure to follow IDF’s rescue delegation to the Philippines live on Twitter


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

7:00 PM: After 12 days, 2686 patients, 60 surgeries, 848 children treated and 36 births, the 148 members of the IDF aid delegation in the Philippines returned to Israel today, proving once again that our commitment to saving lives is not national – it’s universal.

WATCH: IDF Aid Delegation Returns from the Philippines

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

6:00 PM: The IDF delegation has left the Philippines and will arrive in Israel tomorrow, Wed., in time for the first night of Hannukah.


Monday, November 25, 2013

5:30 PM: IDF delegation is returning to Israel, all set to arrive in Tel Aviv on Wed, Nov. 27. “The doctors, nurses, and medical staff [who came] here left their homes, families, and jobs, immediately upon hearing there was a need…motivated by compassion and guided by the values of human dignity and friendship.”

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To read more about their work in the Philippines, click here

For more photos from the delegation in the Philippines, click here 

Sunday, NOVEMBER 24, 2013

9:00 AM: Louis, the head of security in Cebu, named his daughter Shai, after IDF Military Attaché to the Philippines Col. Shai Brovender. Baby Shai was born in the IDF field hospital.

Baby Shai

Friday, November 22, 2013

 10:00 AM:

The IDF in the Philippines field hospital has just treated its 2000th patient.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

10:30 AM: Since the delegation’s arrival, 1 out of every 3 patients in the Israeli field hospital has been a child.


1:00 AM: IDF delegation in the Philippines continues to work hard on rehabilitation of 2 schools.

IDF Philippines

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

7:30 PM: Video footage of the IDF’s rescue delegation treating a 34-week-old premature baby in distress this morning:

4:30 PM: 272 people treated today by the IDF in the Philippines. Overall, 1451 patients have been treated, 463 of whom are children.

SHY_0964Tuesday, November 19, 2013

3:00 PM: Over 1,000 people were treated by IDF medical teams in the past four days.

12:45 AM: 

 Monday, November 18, 2013

9:30 PM: Thanks to the IDF team in Philippines, the school year began as normal today. They repaired a school building, and taught its students some Hebrew along the way. 8:30 PM: The IDF medical team treated 952 patients today, including people with chronic illnesses seeing a doctor for the first time. babyhospital 8:30 AM: The IDF orthopedic team treated a one-day-old baby born with a serious birth defect in all four limbs. Orthopedic Surgery

Sunday, November 17, 2013

8:40 PM: Col. Dr. Dudu Dagan, Vice Surgeon General: “Today we delivered 3 babies in one hour. Moments like these are the utlimate experiences.” 5:00 PM: The IDF team based in Bogo City has installed a water cistern on a nearby island that had no access to water 4:50 PM:

1:00 PM: A lot of children are coming to the IDF field hospital. We’re providing medical care, but we’re also bringing a smile to kids’ faces in some lighter moments:

9:00 AM: More than 100 patients have already been treated this morning (Philippines time) at the IDF field hospital in Bogo City. Many more are still lining up for treatment.

IDF field hospital Philippines

3:00 AM: Israeli doctors from the IDF delegation performed immediate life-saving surgery in the field to rescue a man who had been stabbed.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

9:30 PM: An IDF soldier taking part in the delegation wrote a first-person account of the rescue mission in the Philippines. Read it here.

8:00 PM: Opening of the IDF’s field hospital, which has so far treated 370 patients (150 of which were children).

7:30 PM: Photos from Day 2 inside the IDF’s field hospital in the Philippines:

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6:30 PM: Throughout the day so far, 260 people have been treated by the IDF field hospital in the Philippines.

A photo of patients waiting for Israeli aid at the field hospital:


Friday, November 15, 2013

Throughout the day so far, 140 people were treated by the IDF field hospital in the Philippines.

11:30 AM: Video: Watch the first few moments of baby Israel’s life

10:30 AM: Meet baby “Israel.” The first birth in the #IDFinPhilippines field hospital.

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8:51 AM: So begins the stream of needy people being brought into the #IDFinPhilippines field hospital.

#IDF in teh Philippines field hospital

8:18 AM: First baby delivery at #IDFinPhilippines field hospital. The mother named her baby: “Israel”

8:15 AM: ”On behalf of the city of Bogo, I would like to thank the government of Israel for brining the best doctors in Israel here to the Philippines…we are most grateful”- mayor of Bogo

8:10 AM:  The Vice President of the Philippines at the opening ceremony: ”I would like to thank the people of Israel who are here extending their help.”

vp of philippines

8:00 AM: The flags of Israel and the Philippines side by side at the IDF field hospital.

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7:30 AM: Hospital up and running treating first patients. People lining up outside for help.

IDF in the Philippines

7:10 AM: Decorating the children’s wing in the field hospital.

IDF in the Philippines

7:00 AM: The IDF aid mission begins it’s second day with a little breakfast.


Thursday, November 14, 2013 

23:00 PM: Watch: IDF’s Rescue Mission to the Philippines: First Day Recap 

22:10 PM: As we speak, the #IDFinPhilippines hospital is being built. It will include an x-ray room and birthing facilities.

9:45 PM: In addition to treating patients, we will be helping restore damaged infrastructure with electricians & other professionals.

9:00 PM: The IDF field hospital is being built right now. When finished, it will be able to treat 500 people at a time.

6:30 PM: Watch the harrowing and uplifting images of the IDF’s delegation’s first day:

5:40 PM: The first pictures of the IDF aid delegation are here:

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3:15 PM: An officer from the aid delegation writes: “After arriving at around 2:00 PM in Cebu, everyone was incredibly eager to reach our final location and get a more in-touch understanding of the situation on the ground. We then boarded a bus for a three hour ride to Bogo City, north of Cebu. The scenes along the route were both incredibly beautiful and moving–breathtaking nature, combined with incredibly painful displays of human suffering. We are staying the night in a local stadium, where we feel the rain as it falls from the open ceiling. Staying with us are also some Filipinos.”

9:00 AM: Our aid delegation has joined the rescue effort in Bogo City. They will establish a field hospital on the ground.

7:00 AM: Our aid team has landed in Cebu, the expedition will leave shortly to Bogo City in order to establish the field hospital.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 

8:00 PM: Expert #IDF rescuers are en route to the #Philippines w/ ~ 100 tons of humanitarian & medical supplies

5:00 PM: “We really appreciate the support of the Israeli Government & the Israeli people” -Philippine Ambassador to Israel 

3:00 PM: Our soldiers boarding the plane to travel 6,000 miles to help the people of the Philippines.

boarding the plane (2)

boarding the plane to the philippines

2:15 PM: Planning the field hospital while waiting for boarding.

planning field hospital

12:00 PM: Aerial shot of senior #IDF officials in the #Philippines surveying damage from Typhoon Haiyan 

11:45 AM:

11:40 AM: Soldiers preparing the approximately 100 tons of humanitarian and medical supplies bound for the Philippines. aid waiting at airport

11:30 AM:  Commander of the #IDF Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Eyal Eizenberg: “Providing aid and assistance is part of who we are. In the places where this is no one, we will be there. Our mission is challenging but here sit the best of the best, trained professionals with years of experience. It’s a huge honor to represent the State of Israel and an even bigger honor to help save lives and assist those in need.”

10:45 AM: Lt. Col. Chaim Alisha: “We’re bringing 1500 toys to the children; our hope is they will make them feel a little better.”

10:30 AM: Our soldiers at Ben Gurion Airport preparing to board an airplane & save lives following the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

IDF delegation for Philippines at Ben Gurion Airport

IDF delegation for the Philippines at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport

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10:00 AM: Operation “Islands of Hope” is the name of the mission of the 150 strong delegation.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

1:00 PM: A 150 member delegation is set to leave for the Philippines tomorrow or the, Wednesday, November 13, 2013, in order to provide search, rescue, and medical services in the Typhoon-struck city of Tacloban, capital of the Leyte Province.

An advanced multi-department medical facility, equipped with approximately 100 tons of humanitarian and medical supplies from Israel, will be rapidly established in the city of Tacloban to provide medical care for disaster casualties. The facility will be constructed of a children’s department, a women’s department, an ambulatory care department, and a general admission department, operated by IDF doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, mental health professionals, x-ray technician, and lab workers.

The delegation is comprised of officials in the National Search and Rescue Unit of the Home Front Command headed by the unit commander, Colonel Ramtin Sabti, as well as senior doctors in the IDF Medical Corps, headed by the Vice Surgeon General of the IDF Medical Corps, Colonel Doctor Dudu Dagan.

Monday, November 11, 2013

10:00 AM: A lead expedition of five search, rescue, and medical experts arrived in Tacloban, Philippines and formed a situation assessment determining the urgency for a rapid IDF response. Based on this assessment the of the Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benjamin (Benny) Gantz, order to deploy a large-scale delegation to the disaster zone.