William Hague looking serious 311.
(photo credit: AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
"The British Government has been saddened by the Carmel Forest fire in northern Israel which has claimed so many lives," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Friday, according to a statement released.
Hague said "on behalf of the whole Government I send my condolences to those who have lost family members. Our thoughts are with the thousands who have had to leave their homes due to the blaze."
"This tragedy is all the more sad as it comes as the Jewish community around the world celebrates Hanukka, a time of hope and joy," the British foreign secretary said.RELATED:Up-to-date map of fires raging in CarmelFire crews fighting blaze's spread towards Denya
US Ambassador to Israel James B Cunningham also offered his support and said "on behalf of US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all of those who have died as a result of the terrible forest fire in northern Israel."
"The United States is working closely with Israel to provide all assistance possible to fight the fire, and prepare for long term recovery needs. The people of the United States stand with you," Cunningham said.
US President Barack Obama on Thursday also offered his condolences to families of the victims of the uncontrolled fires that were raging throughout the north of the country.
"As rescuers and firefighters continue in their work, the United States is acting to help our Israeli friends respond to the disaster," Obama said at a reception celebrating the second night of Hanukka. "A short while ago, our ambassador in Tel Aviv, Jim Cunningham, issued a disaster declaration, which has launched an effort across the US government to identify the firefighting assistance we have available and provide it to Israel as quickly as possible. Of course, that's what friends do for each other."
Obama continued, "Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody in Israel
who is affected by this tragedy and the family and loved ones of those
in harm’s way."
US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton on Friday offered her "sincere condolences to the families and
loved ones of those who have lost their lives in the fires in northern
A 747 loaded with the fire retardant
chemical needed to stop the raging Carmel forest fires left 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.
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.
Aharoni thanked Bloomberg
and requested Fire Trol 931, a flame retardant Israel needs to combat
the fires. At Bloomberg's request, Deputy Fire Commissioner Francis X.
Gribbon immediately called the Acting Counsel General back, ascertained
that the fire retardant Israel needs is not one that the FDNY uses in
New York, and had the FDNY reach out to the United States Forestry
Service, which does use Fire Trol 931 to fight forest fires.
After a conference call between Harbour and Aharoni late
Thursday afternoon, Harbour told FDNY Deputy Commissioner Gribbon that
the plane loaded with Fire Trol 931 will leave for Israel tonight.
Egypt has also offered to assist in
firefighting efforts by supplying fire extinguishing chemicals,
according to the IDF Spokesperson.