Netanyahu: Battle to Stop Carmel Fire Will Be Determined in the Air

World responds to Prime Minister's request for firefighting aircraft; 21 aircraft have arrived so far with more landing throughout the day.

The battle to stop the fire will be determined in the air, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday morning, referring to the firefighting aircraft which have arrived from countries across the world in order to aid Israel as it fights to stop the worst wildfire in the country's history.

"I am working in every way to quickly bring more firefighting aircraft to Israel," Netanyahu said referring to the efforts to stop the wildfire as an "air battle."

Benjamin Netanyahu fire - Gil Eliyahu - 2.12.2010
Gil Eliyahu

The prime minister's office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are continuing to be in contact with other countries to discuss bringing more firefighting aircraft to Israel.

As of Saturday morning, 21 firefighting aircrafts from different countries across the world had arrived in Israel. Of that number, 13 of them are currently in the air, working to contain the fire. The countries that have sent aircraft to aid Israel include: Greece, who sent four aircraft, Cyprus, which sent a plane and helicopter, Britain, which sent two helicopters, and Turkey, which sent two aircraft.

Russia sent four aircraft, one of which us the largest of its kind in the world, with the ability to hold up to 42,000 liters of water.

An Italian aircraft carrying 100 tons of flame retardant arrived as well as a plane from Bulgaria long with 100 Bulgarian firefighters has also arrived to help battle the fire.

More planes and flame retardant are expected to be landing throughout the day on Saturday, including from the United States, France, Azerbaijan, and Spain.