NEW YORK - A Boeing 747 loaded with the fire retardant chemical needed to stop the raging Carmel forest fires will leave the United States for Israel Thursday night, thanks to New York City Mayor Bloomberg, Israeli Acting Consul General Ido Aharoni, members of the FDNY and Tom Harbour, the Director of Fire and Aviation Management for the US Forestry Service.

Bloomberg called Israel’s Acting Consul General in New York Ido Aharoni Thursday afternoon to convey New York City's strong support for Israel Thursday afternoon, Bloomberg's spokesperson Stu Loeser said.

Bloomberg asked if New York could help Israel with its fires. Bloomberg mentioned in the call that FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano had had a meeting scheduled for Friday with Israel's Deputy Minister of Defense, Matan Vilnai and two aides. Vilnai is in charge of Homeland Defense including natural disasters and terrorist/hostile military events against the civilian population. However, the Friday meeting had been cancelled due to Vilnai's return to Israel.

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