An airlift of 11 aircraft is set to deliver millions of essential items to Israel from China, including masks, protective gear, and ventilators over the coming week, the Israeli Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
The medical equipment will go to Israeli hospitals and medical teams to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The ministry said that after two weeks of preparations, “including procurement agreements, diplomatic efforts and logistical arrangements,” the first plane will be taking be making its way to Israel on Monday from Shanghai with over 900,000 surgical masks, 500,000 protective suits for medical teams, and “additional critical equipment.”
Ventilators will be delivered in the coming days, the ministry indicated, “as a result of the efforts led by the MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] and the Israeli Embassy in China.
El Al is running the airlift and will operate two flights a day for approximately a week until the operation is completed, according to a ministry statement.
The “procurement operation” was conducted with the assistance of Israeli specialty chemicals company ICL corporate and its representatives in China, the ministry said.
“I would like to thank the people of the Ministry of Defense and El Al, whom we have sent to the other side of the world in order to bring life-saving equipment to Israel,” said Defense Minister Naftali Bennett. “We are continuing to operate in full force, assessing every avenue in both local production and in the international arena.”
ICL Corporate CEO Raviv Zoller said” ICL is first and foremost an Israeli company, and in times of emergency we are proud to invest our resources for the benefit of the state and to participate and assist in any way possible in the national effort against the coronavirus.”
“We have leveraged the excellent relations that we have developed in various regions in China, where we manage our factories. These relations enabled us to procure essential equipment, which is expected to arrive in Israel in the coming days. We will continue to assist in any way possible for the benefit of the State of Israel,” he added.