Blaze in north continues to rage for fourth day, mainly in Nir Etzion, Mount Shokef area; 30 firefighting aircraft, including American Supertanker, utilized in extinguishing efforts. Official: We'll contain fire soon
As Russian planes continue battling Carmel wildfire, government rents Boeing 747-200 modified into aerial firefighting aircraft and has capacity of 80,000 liters of water;
In total, some 30 firefighting aircraft and three helicopters – which arrived from the United States, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Britain, Russia, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Azerbaijan, Spain, Romania, Holland and Canada – are expected to operate on Mount Carmel from Sunday morning.
A senior Israel Air Force officer said Saturday night that the fire had reached its lowest level since breaking out on Thursday. "A new challenge is expected in the morning, with southeastern winds which may lead the blaze to new directions," he said. "The fire may be in control by the end of the day."
The senior Russian officials arrived at the fire command post at Haifa University, where they met with Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch. The minister praised the Russian delegation for "changing the balance".
Netanyahu on Saturday spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who expressed his condolences to the people of Israel over the Carmel wildfire casualties and said he would give Israel any help required.
During the conversation, which was defined by the Prime Minister's Office as "warm and friendly," Netanyahu said that "neighbors should always help each other." He added that he had decided to set up a lineup of fire extinguishing planes, which would also serve Israel's neighboring countries and the Palestinian Authority in times of need.
Abbas told Netanyahu that under such circumstances, the Palestinians had no hesitations and would provide any humanitarian aid possible.
Police have arrested a 16-year-old boy and his 14-year-old brother from Usfiya on suspicion of negligence which started the major fire. The two suspects' mother claimed that her sons were in school when the fire broke out and expressed her hope that they would be released from custody soon.
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Click to view image: 'Russian plane heading out to Carmel '
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Click to view image: 'One of Russian planes fighting Carmel wildfire '
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Click to view image: 'Supertanker in action '
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