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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020
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UN pledges support for Israeli firefighting effort

Over 40 people have been killed and 13,000 evacuated as fires continue to rage in the north of Israel.

Satellite image released by NASA shows smoke drifting away from the fires outside Haifa, Israel.
Satellite image released by NASA shows smoke drifting away from the fires outside Haifa, Israel.
Image: AP Photo/NASA

UN SECRETARY GENERAL Ban Ki-moon has pledged the organisation’s support to Israel as the country battles a major forest fire blaze outside the northern port of Haifa.

Forty-one people have died and another 17,000 have been evacuated from the area.

About 7,000 acres have been scorched.

Turkey, Spain, Greece, Russia, Egypt, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Croatia and France have each offered assistance, according to Al Jazeera.

Israel has no firefighting aircraft of its own, and Turkey’s provision of planes has helped to bridge a diplomatic impasse between the two countries which came to a head with the Gaza blockade last May, when Israeli troops killed nine Turkish people.

The AP reports that an investigation into the blaze is ongoing, but an early examination suggests negligence, rather than arson, was the cause. Israel’s police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that the fires continue to burn out of control in parts of the north.

Last month was Israel’s driest November in 60 years.

These videos from Russia Today show the dramatic spread of the flames and the efforts being made to tackle the fires:

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