Fires broke out in the Galilee on Thursday morning, December 2nd. They have spread rapidly and have taken an estimated 41 lives. More than 20% of the trees in the national forest have been destroyed; much more natural devastation is expected. As the fires continue to rage 17,000 people have been evacuated, including from neighborhoods around Haifa. Haifa University is also being threatened. Israeli forces have mobilized to contain the spreading forest fire, the worst in Israel’s history, but early Friday morning it continued to force emergency evacuations.
Israel is running out of the chemicals to douse the fire, and doesn’t have the manpower or equipment to contain the blaze. The international community is offering desperately needed assistance: fire-fighting chemical from France, fire suppression equipment from Spain, Greece, and Cyprus.; and additional aid from Britain, Russia, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Romania, Jordan and Bulgaria. The IAF is readying to send aircraft to neighboring countries to gather fire retardant chemicals to assist in extinguishing the fire.
During this season of love, anticipation and hope let us pray for our sisters and brothers in Israel.