Dec 20, 2010

Israel's New Regional Fire Brigade

David DolanBy David Dolan

In the wake of a devastating forest fire near the city of Haifa earlier this month which left over forty Israelis dead, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling for the establishment of a regional firefighting brigade. The brigade would be made up of firefighters and equipment from Israel and several regional countries, including Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Jordan.

All five countries suffer from wild fires every year, especially Greece which has large blazes almost every summer. All also sent firefighting forces to Israel to help put out the huge forest fire on Mount Carmel, which was the worst ever in Israel’s modern history.

Netanyahu said that “The assistance that was given to Israel should serve as a model for additional cooperation in our region. By pooling our resources and knowledge of our countries, we can better prepare and respond to natural disasters.” Meanwhile Israel’s State Comptroller issued a scathing report which was highly critical of the government, saying the fire demonstrated it was not prepared to fight the Carmel blaze despite a spate of forest fires sparked off by Hizbullah rockets in 2006.

Related Links

Knesset Votes Against Inquiry into Carmel Fire - Arutz Sheva
Netanyahu calls for regional firefighting force - ICEJ News
PM to leaders: create a regional fire fighting force - The Jerusalem Post
Firefighter’s death brings Carmel toll to 44 - JTA
Holy War for the Promised Land: Israel at the Crossroads - David Dolan (Book)