Turkey, Russia among countries rushing to Israel's aid to fight fires

Russia and Turkey have joined Greece, Italy, Croatia and Cyprus in the firefighting efforts, sending a total of 10 planes to Israel.

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November 24, 2016 12:19
1 minute read.

Fires rage across Israel. Video: Ariel Kedem, National Parks Authority.

Fires rage across Israel. Video: Ariel Kedem, National Parks Authority.

Turkey, which recently resumed full diplomatic ties with Israel, offered to send a large fire-fighting aircraft to Israel to assist efforts to douse the fires ravaging the country.

The two countries resumed full diplomatic ties last week with the mutual naming of new ambassadors, after six years of downgraded ties following the Mavi Marmara incident. Turkey sent two planes to Israel in December 2010 to fight the Carmel forest fire, at the height of the diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

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In 2011, Israel dispatched mobile homes to Turkey following a massive earthquake there. In 2014, however, Turkey rejected Israeli assistance – as well as assistance from a number of other countries – following a mining disaster that killed nearly 301 people.

Israel accepted the Turkish offer for the firefighting plane, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he appreciated the Turkish offer for assistance.

Netanyahu also spoke on Thursday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and thanked him for positively and quickly responding to the Israeli request to send aircraft to help the efforts. Putin said that Russia would immediately send to Israel two giant firefighting planes.

This was the seventh phone conversation between the two leaders since the beginning of the year.

Russia and Turkey have joined Greece, Italy, Croatia and Cyprus in the firefighting efforts, sending a total of 10 planes to Israel. 


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