Israel sends firefighting aircraft to assist battle Cyprus wildfire

Israel first responder to Cyprus amidst massive wildfire; Netanyahu orders dispatch of firefighting aircraft

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Israel dispatched firefighting aircraft to Paphos, Cyprus Sunday morning to assist in efforts to control a wildfire that broke out Saturday.

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to a request from Cyprus Saturday evening to assist in efforts to control the blaze, Israel acting a first responder sending firefighting planes to the region. According to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel is also organizing a rescue team to be sent to Cyprus in the coming hours.

The Prime Minister’s Office released a statement Sunday morning that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered that firefighting planes be sent to Cyprus to help put out a giant fire that is raging in Paphos. Efforts are currently underway to organize the dispatch of a rescue team as well as additional firefighting aircraft… At the time of the Carmel fire, Cyprus was the first country to send a firefighting plane,” referring to the Carmel fire in 2010, the worse fire in Israel’s history which resulted in the death of 44 people.

The fire has reportedly burned over five square kilometers of vegetation, efforts underway to stop the blaze amidst heavy winds.