PM: ‘No shame’ in putting out fire with int’l aid (Jerusalem Post)

By JPOST.COM STAFF
04/12/2010
 
Netanyahu calls help Israel received from other nations “heartwarming”; trumpets arrival of US firefighting airplane that can operate at night; Ashkenazi says “we are all firefighters now.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Saturday that after the tragic loss of 41 lives in the Carmel fires which began Thursday, his main goals were preventing the loss of more lives and putting the fire out from the air with international help. Netanyahu was speaking at a press conference at Haifa University.

The prime minister said that thanks to the cooperation of the firefighters, police, MDA and volunteers, the goal of saving lives had been reached.

He also referred to the help Israel received from other nations, including Egypt, Turkey and Jordan, as “heartwarming.”

The prime minister stated that there was “no shame” in receiving help in putting out a fire of this size.

“We’ve helped other countries in the past, now they’re helping us,” he said.

Netanyahu added that the Boeing supertanker plane that was scheduled to arrive Sunday morning at approximately 1:00 AM would greatly help in firefighting efforts because of its ability to fly at night.

He added that the number of planes coming from other countries will be doubled or even tripled in the coming days.

The prime minister said that he intended to “cut the bureaucracy” in order to get residents of the North displaced by the fire back in their homes as soon as possible.

Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi also took the opportunity at the press conference to  praise the ongoing efforts of those working to control the fires and sounded an optimistic note on when the fires would be put out.

The operation to control the blazes in the North is a massive effort, said Ashkenazi. He continued, “We are all firefighters [now].”  The army chief also stated that he believed that the fire would be put out in one to two days, but qualified his statement by adding progress on controlling the fire depended greatly on the weather in the upcoming days

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