Carmel fire-PM Netanyahu at Security Cabinet meeting


Fire rages in the Carmel range in the north of Israel (Photo: Reuters)

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

"We are in a very harsh event. We have over 40 dead. People are missing; people are injured. Many of these people perished in admirable courage and sacrificed themselves in order to save others. I would like to note our participation in the families’ grief and we send wishes for a rapid recovery for the wounded. We know that approximately 15,000 Israelis have been evacuated from their homes. We support them and we will take care of them. We will see to all the rebuilding, renovation and compensation as necessary in order to restore them to normal life. We will rehabilitate the Carmel with as national reconstruction plan.

I would like to praise the work being done in the field that is being carried out with exemplary cooperation. I would like to thank the Israel Police, the Fire and Rescue Service, the IDF, MDA, the hospitals and the Prison Service – which suffered a terrible blow; we are will with the families of the Prison Service personnel. I would also like to thank Israel’s citizens who have shown patience and equanimity, and are heeding directions in an exemplary manner, and therefore, it is possible to realize our first goal.

 Carmel fire-PM Netanyahu at Security Cabinet meeting

Photo: Israel Police

Our first goal is that there be no more loss of life. To this end, I gave instructions yesterday, which are being carried out, for evacuations whenever there is even the slightest concern that the fire might reach communities or neighborhoods. This is being carried out in an exemplary manner.

The second thing is to recognize the fact that our firefighting measures cannot provide an answer to forest fires of this magnitude, especially in the face of such winds. We do not have such equipment. Only airborne forces have such equipment and since yesterday we have been in contact with many foreign governments, in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, in order to bring these forces to Israel.