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Israel Sends Firefighting Aircraft To Assist Greece In Battle Against Massive Wildfires

Israel responds to Greek request for help as extreme weather triggers widespread fires

Israel recently announced it will dispatch at least two firefighting aircraft to Greece to assist the country battle massive wildfires.

Days of extreme weather have triggered massive fires in at least two areas of Greece amid a heatwave.  

This has prompted the government to issue a health warning and shut down several tourist attractions, including the Acropolis in Athens. Greek meteorological services expect the weather in some areas of the country to reach 46 degrees Celsius in the coming days.

The planes were scheduled to depart early Thursday, July 20, and return sometime on Sunday. The move was confirmed by a joint statement from the National Security Ministry, Fire and Rescue Services and Israeli police.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the move came following a request from the Greek government and consultations with the national security, defense and foreign ministers.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said the Israeli team, which includes pilots and fire experts, is “prepared for any scenario.”

“The firefighting team will join the forces already on the ground,” Itamar said. 

“The fast-tracked preparation of the teams was made possible thanks to the cooperation of all the parties.”

The aid is part of a year-long cooperation effort between the two countries. “The government of Israel will stand by Greece as it fights the huge wildfires,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

“[The government] appreciates Greece’s contribution to extinguishing wildfires in Israel over the past decade.”


Produced in association with ISRAEL21c

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