Photo Credit: MFA
Israel Firefighters in Greece. August 8, 2021

Israel has announced it is sending further aid to Greece, which is contending with the worst fires it has experienced in decades.

At least 586 fires have erupted in the past week, and thousands of people have so far been evacuated from areas affected by the fires.

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Greece is experiencing its worst heatwave in more than 30 years and in the last 10 days, more than 56,000 hectares have been burnt in hundreds of fires.

After dispatching a team of firefighters to help the multi-nation force contend with the blazes, Israel is dispatching firefighting planes and other aid.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke on Monday with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and informed him that he had approved the departure of two firefighting planes to assist in extinguishing the wildfires in Greece. An Israeli Air Force transport plane will also depart with equipment for the crews and for the 15 Israeli firefighters who left for the fires in Greece last Friday.

The assistance, worth almost NIS 3.5 million, was formulated in cooperation between the Prime Minister’s Office and the Finance, Defense, Foreign and Public Security ministries.

Bennett said that Israel will continue to render all possible assistance in dealing with the huge wildfires.

Mitsotakis thanked Bennett for the cooperation and the willingness to assist in resolving the crisis.

Israel has previously dispatched firefighting aid to Cyprus, Greece, and other European countries, and at time of need, Cyprus and other countries have helped Israel contend with its fires.

Israel, Greece and Cyprus have conducted joint firefighting exercises.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.