Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel has offered its world-renowned disaster assistance via the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to victims of a serious 7.3-magnitude earthquake that rocked communities near the Iran-Iraq border in the Kurdistan region Sunday night. More than 500 people were killed and more than 7,500 were injured in the quake.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed the offer during a video Q & A with a gathering of the Jewish Federations of North America in Los Angeles, California.

Netanyahu told the gathering that the assistance from Israel was intended to show the state’s commitment to friendship with the people of Iran and Iraq, despite the activities of their governments. The offer, predictably, was rejected by Iran, which has also declined offers from all other parties in the international community.

Iran does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Neither does Iraq.

The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, has offered thoughts and prayers for the victims. “The United States expresses its sincere condolences to all of those affected by the earthquake in Iran and Iraq,” said spokeswoman Heather Nauert. “We keep the families of those who were killed, and injured, in our thoughts as well as the communities that have suffered damage to homes and property.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.