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Israel mulls calling for intl help to curb massive wildfire

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has ordered security officials to consider appealing for international assistance to combat a raging massive wildfire near Jerusalem.

Israel is considering calling for international assistance in battling a massive wildfire that has been raging over the past two days near Jerusalem, officials said on Monday.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office said in a statement that he instructed Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev and the National Security Council "to consider appealing for international assistance in extinguishing the fires."

Bennett also ordered the army to give "all necessary assistance to the firefighting and rescue efforts," including sending more military aircraft to help contain the fire.

Some 45 firefighting teams and 10 aircraft were already battling the blazes, according to a statement issued by the Fire and Rescue Services.

Israel's state-owned Kan Radio reported that more than 17 square kilometers of forest had already been consumed. At least 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the Jerusalem area, a spokesperson with the Jerusalem police said in a statement.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. It broke out on Sunday amid a combination of hot, dry and windy weather. 

Black smoke and ash from a massive wildfire almost blocks the sight of the sun near Jerusalem, on Aug. 15, 2021.

Published : August 17, 2021

By : Xinhua