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Thank you: Turkey's aid to Israeli wildfire crisis breaks diplomatic stalemate

Israeli and Turkish prime ministers have their first phone conversation since 2009 in wake of fires which have killed 42 people.

THE PRIME MINISTERS of Israel and Turkey had an “ice-breaking” phone call today after Turkey firefighting aircraft helped in the effort to put out forest fires raging in Israel.

The thank-you call from Israel premier Bejamin Netanyahu and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan is the first between them since Netanyahu took office in March 2009, according to Reuters. Erdogan had criticised the Israeli assault on the Gaza strip in 2008 – and diplomatic relations took a turn for the worse when Israeli troops killed nine Turkish people on a ship bound for Gaza this May.

Russia and European aircraft have also come to Israel’s aid to try and quell the raging wildfires which have so far killed at least 42 people across the north of the country. Around 17,000 people have been evacuated from the area, and the blaze is spreading closer to Haifa. The University of Haifa has become a HQ for emergency personnel. AP is reporting that arson is being investigated as the source of the fires, possibly at an illegal dunping ground in the Carmel area.

Thank you: Turkey's aid to Israeli wildfire crisis breaks diplomatic stalemate
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  • Israel wildfire

    Firefighters try to prevent a widfire from reaching the town of Tirat Hacarmel, northern Israel.
  • Israel wildfire

    Fire fighters rest on the road after participating overnight in the efforts to gain control over a massive wildfire, still raging near by, as the sun rises in the background, in Tirat Hacarmel.
  • Israel wildfire

    Flames approach houses in kibbutz Beit Oren in northern Israel.
  • Israel wildfire

    Firefighters try to extinguish the flames on the outskirts of Tirat Hacarmel, northern Israel.
  • Israel wildfire

    An Israeli soldier and security officer watch as a Greek firefighting plane sprays fire extinguishing material over the fire in Yemin Orde, northern Israel.
  • Israel wildfire

    An Israeli ultra-orthodox man takes a photo with his mobile phone of the damage caused to buildings in kibbutz Beit Oren, destroyed in a wildfire in northern Israel.
  • Israel wildfire

    Firefighters try to extinguish the flames in Tirat Hacarmel, northern Israel.
  • Israel wildfire

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with the head of a Turkish delegation of fire fighters and firefighting planes that arrived at Ramat David airforce base in northern Israel to help fight a wildfire.
  • Israel wildfire

    Druze Arabs examine the remains of a bus where dozens of Israelis were killed in a fire in seen on the road near kibbutz Beit Oren, northern Israel.
  • Israel wildfire

    A firefighting plane flies as the sun sets over a fire in Haifa, Israel's third largest city.

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