Brazil’s President Thanks Israel’s “Brave Troops” for Post-Dam Disaster Rescue Mission

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro thanked Israel’s “brave troops” on Thursday for providing emergency relief to the victims of a recent dam collapse that killed at least 99 people and left hundreds missing, The Algemeiner reported.

A 130-strong Israeli team landed in Brazil on Sunday to assist Brazilian authorities in search operations for survivors, after a dam collapsed last Friday in Brumadinho in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. The Israeli delegation included medics, engineering experts, rescue specialists, and a scuba unit.

“The brave Israeli troops sent by prime minister Netanyahu finish today their mission here in Brazil,” Bolsonaro tweeted. “On behalf of the Brazilian people, I thank the state of Israel for the services provided in Brumadinho MG in partnership with the Brazilian Armed Forces and Firefighters.”

The Israeli search and rescue team was the first of its kind sent to Brazil. “Following a situational assessment and discussions with local officials, it emerged that search and rescue is the main need at the Brazilian disaster site,” the IDF said at the time.

A statement was also posted on Israel’s official Twitter account following the end of the mission. “Israel is completing a humanitarian aid mission to Brazil, following the devastating Brumadinho dam collapse disaster, which claimed more than 80 victims. We are proud to assist our Brazilian friends and we stand with the people of Brazil,” the statement read.

In another tweet on Thursday, Bolsonaro hailed the two nation’s collaboration in the areas of science and technology, during an ongoing trip to Israel by Brazil’s Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Marcos Pontes.

“This is the 3rd day of the Minister of Science and Technology @Astro_Pontes in Israel,” wrote Bolsonaro. “His visit’s goal is to develop partnerships that we can bring to Brazil. Everyone wins. Science and technology in favor of the economic growth and development of our country.”

Bolsonaro’s comments mark another step forward for Israel and Brazil which have seen warming relations, ever since the president was elected to office in October and promised to relocate his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

[Photo: Israel Defense Forces / Facebook ]