Israeli mission to leave Turkey urgently over 'security threat': Media
Israeli media say the occupation mission deployed to Turkey after the earthquake "made hasty arrangements" to leave the country as soon as possible.
United Hatzalah, the Israeli occupation's mission that was deployed to Turkey after the earthquake, announced on Sunday urgently ending its operations and leaving the quake-hit country urgently after an alleged "significant security threat," Israeli media reported.
The Israeli news website i24 News reported that the decision was made on Saturday after an assessment of the situation was conducted by the Israeli occupation forces and United Hatzalah.
According to the website, the occupation mission "quickly packed up their gear and made hasty arrangements" to leave Turkey as soon as possible, noting that "due to the lack of available planes, Dr. Miriam Adelson donated her private jet to fly the team back."
On Twitter, the mission said in a statement that "due to a significant security threat on the Israeli rescue and relief mission in Turkey, United Hatzalah’s rescue mission will be ending" and the team will leave Turkey "as soon as possible."
Dov Maisel, the Vice President of United Hatzalah’s Operations, claimed that the mission was aware that "there was a certain level of risk in sending our team to this area of Turkey, close to the Syrian border, but we have taken the necessary steps to mitigate the threat in the interest of our rescue mission."
He continued, "Unfortunately, we have just received reports of a concrete and immediate threat to the Israeli delegation and we must prioritize the safety of our staff," as per i24 News
On Tuesday, Dvir Dimri a spokesperson for the Israeli mission that arrived in Turkey told Israeli Channel 12 that a Turkish citizen yelled at the team, saying, "You are terrorists."
Read more: Turkey-Syria earthquake death toll to top 50,000, UN warns
Austrian and German rescuers suspend Turkey search over security
In a related context, the Austrian army and German rescue workers on Saturday suspended search operations in Turkey due to a worsening security situation, their representatives confirmed.
On Friday, a Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader announced that Kurdish militants are temporarily suspending "operations" in Turkey after the massive earthquake that struck the country and Syria.
However, a spokesman for the Austrian army said that there had been "clashes between groups," without giving details.
He told AFP that the 82 soldiers from the Austrian Forces Disaster Relief Unit were sheltering in the southern Hatay province "in a base camp with other international organisations, awaiting instructions."
According to the spokesperson, the soldiers were set to return to Austria on Thursday, but this is being reviewed.
A similar decision to halt rescue operations was taken in Germany by the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (TSW) and an NGO specializing in helping victims of natural disasters, ISAR Germany, according to an NGO spokesperson.
"In recent hours, the security situation in Hatay province has apparently changed," said ISAR Spokesperson Stefan Heine. "There are more and more reports of clashes between different factions, shots have also been fired."
German teams "are remaining in the common base camp for now as a result" and will resume their search when Turkish civil protection authorities "believe it sufficiently safe."
Read more: HTS holding Syria aid over 'approval issues': UN Spokesperson
Syria denies Israeli claim: No aid request from entity killing Syrians
It is noteworthy that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed on Monday that Syria made a request to the occupation entity for relief assistance after the earthquake.
However, a Syrian official source immediately and categorically denied the claims made by the occupation PM.
The official source considered that if Netanyahu had received such a request, it was certainly from his allies and friends in ISIS, Jabhat Al-Nusra, and other terrorist organizations, pointing out that the Israeli occupation entity "is the cause of woes, wars, and tensions in the region, and it is the last one who has the right to talk about providing aid and assistance."
"It is disgraceful that Netanyahu exploits the catastrophe of the earthquake that struck Syria to mislead the public opinion and cover up the expansionist and savage policies of the occupation," he added.
Read more: Permission granted: Syria to Saudi airlines asking to land in Damascus