Israel Defense Forces among emergency workers at Surfside building collapse
Image via Gov. Ron DeSantis Twitter

The troops arrive amid the largest non-hurricane deployment in state history.

Israel Defense Force members are among the hundreds of emergency workers responding to the collapse of an oceanside condominium in Surfside, Florida.

“Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett offered Israel’s full support to Florida, and today, at the request of some Surfside families, we welcomed an expert IDF recovery team to supplement Surfside’s search and rescue efforts,” Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted Sunday.

Working to rescue survivors beneath the rubble of a collapsed 12-story structure, the IDF troops join the roughly 370 emergency workers serving amid the largest non-hurricane deployment in state history.

“These men and women will no stop and will continue to work day and night until the mission is done,” State Fire Marshal and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis tweeted Sunday.

Sen. Rick Scott  meet with the IDF Sunday afternoon. The Israeli troops specialize in engineering and social care among other proficiencies, Scott said.

“They’re already hard at work,” Scott tweeted.

Scott also met with Israeli Counsel General Elbaz Starinsky and Diaspora Affairs Minister Dr. Nachman Shai.

“Grateful for Israel’s strong support,” Scott added.

Israel’s arrival marks the latest handshake between the Middle Eastern country and the Sunshine State.

In 2019, DeSantis led a Florida trade delegation to Israel, where he declared a positive relationship with then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

More recently, DeSantis in May spoke in support of Israel amid a rise of conflict between the U.S. ally and Hamas.

At least 9 people have been confirmed dead since the building collapsed early Thursday. More than 150 people, meanwhile, remain unaccounted for.

“This is going to be a rescue mission for the indefinite future,” said Surfside Mayor Charles Burket. “We are not stopping until we pull every resident out of that rubble.”

While the cause of the collapse remains unknown, a 2018 engineering report detailed “major structural damage” within the oceanfront condominium.

Among other findings, the report uncovered “abundant cracking and spalling” in certain areas of the structure.

It also noted that  previous attempts to fix the columns and other damage were marred by poor workmanship.

In all, an engineering firm estimated that the major repairs the building needed would cost more than $9 million.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told Meet the Press Sunday she’s ordered an audit of all buildings 40 years and older in the area.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Paul

    June 28, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    This would be a nice gesture if not for the IDF enforcing the occupation and annexation of Palestinian lands.

    • Elke

      June 29, 2021 at 10:35 am

      Can it not be just a nice gesture without inserting politics.
      PS Your facts are not correct. Check Historical sites that are A political.

  • anamerican

    June 29, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Why the hell is the IDF operating in the United States? Israel is a threat to our national security. They are extremely close with China and routinely are caught selling US technology to China and Russia.

    • Deb

      June 29, 2021 at 9:32 pm

      No, Not True!?

    • Elke

      June 30, 2021 at 9:26 pm

      Can it not be just a nice gesture without inserting politics.
      PS Your facts are not correct. Check Historical sites that are A political.

    • Leslie

      July 3, 2021 at 12:22 am

      Doesn’t Florida have a National Guard? Sending demolition specialists? We don’t have anyone trained in this from the U.S.? Foreign troops in uniform on U.S. soil is an curious situation.

  • Elke

    June 29, 2021 at 11:49 am

    NOT TRUE and it’s the RESCUE unit!

  • total home environmental

    June 29, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    its unfortunate that some of the people of surfside don’t trust our own trained rescue personnel

    • Elke

      July 4, 2021 at 2:43 pm

      The do they just need more people.
      Look at the positive. Israel sent their IDF specialists in this field.

  • Lee Ellison

    July 4, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    I’m glade to see a important ally like Israel sending a highly trained crew to assist in the recovery don’t seem anything political at all just nice to see someone sending help to us after all we do for other countries

    • Guss

      July 4, 2021 at 6:39 pm


  • Guss

    July 4, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    We really need a few more people from Israel on a partial collapsed building. Something is up, Mr. Governor.

  • Susannah light

    July 6, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    A team of internationally renowned rescue team who were also at 9/11 were sent away.

Comments are closed.


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