Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks earlier today, at Rambam Hospital in Haifa:
“First of all, on the way here we flew over the Carmel, where we heard and saw the Greek aircraft fighting the fire. They entered the smoke and dropped water. We heard them talking, in English of course. I very much appreciate the mobilization of many countries.
We already have planes that are now in action as the only genuinely effective means in blocking the fire.
I spoke with Russian Prime Minister Putin before coming here. The large Russian planes are due to land this afternoon. I expressed my gratitude and appreciation on behalf of all Israelis for this great – and massive, one might say, in the full sense of the word – help. I told Prime Minister Putin that I would also be pleased to receive expert Russian assistance in dealing with these matters. I think that Russia, more than any other country, has experienced giant brushfires and it has experience. He said that he would speak immediately with the relevant minister and would send, in addition to the planes, know-how and whatever else we request. The response in general, by the countries of the world, has been exceptional, as is their willingness to dispatch assistance and sometimes offer help even before we request it. It must reassure all Israelis at this difficult time because there really is here admiration for, and solidarity with, Israel on an unprecedented scale.
(YWN Israel Desk)