Israel is sending sanitation, water purification equipment and temporary shelters to the earthquake-ravaged city of Christchurch. This nearly a week after Israel first offered aid to Christchurch.

Last night, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key formally asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for help. Key turned to Israel for assistance as health and sanitation problems continue to develop in the South Island city.

Israel is well-known for the relief delegations it sends to help victims of manmade and natural disasters around the world.

Rescue teams from New Zealand continue to scour ruined buildings hit by last Tuesday’s 6.3 tremor. And though New Zealand has asked for Israeli sanitation aid, it continues to deny Israel’s world renowned search and rescue teams to help look for survivors.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that there are still four Israeli citizens who are known to have been traveling in New Zealand at the time of the earthquake, but whose whereabouts are still unknown. Foreign Ministry officials also confirmed that three Israeli backpackers were killed in the quake.

New Zealand Prime Minister Key said the high number of foreigners killed in the tremor meant Christchurch’s pain was being felt around the world. “This isn’t just New Zealand’s tragedy, the February 22 earthquake affected countless people internationally,” he said.