Friendly Firefighting: Israel Returns Favor to Help Cyprus

Israel to the rescue in Cyprus. Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israel to the rescue in Cyprus. Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Six years ago, with Israel’s Carmel Forest ablaze and the Jewish State needing help, Cyprus sent their lone firefighting aircraft to assist. With Cyprus facing their own blaze that started Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered three Israeli firefighting aircraft to join efforts to put out the blaze, which was already the biggest in recent years in Cyprus according to the Cyprus Mail.

The Cypriot news website, citing a report from CyBC, said that the effort to combat the fire was the largest such mobilization in Cyprus’ history. In a press release from Netanyahu’s office, he noted that they ordered their aircraft go join that effort on Saturday night and they were already in Cyprus by Sunday, less than 24 hours after the fire began. “This is part of the regional arrangement we have made with Cyprus and Greece about emergency assistance,” said Netanyahu. “I am pleased that we are able to extend this assistance.”

A separate Israeli press release said they were also working to send a rescue team to Cyprus, although thankfully Cyprus Mail reported that as of the initial stages of the blaze no homes were at risk.

Israel’s extended support of three aircraft represents more than one-fifth of all such aircraft. Sharing what can be shared is part of being in a regional relationship. Netanyahu, in noting that Cyprus had sent their lone aircraft to Israel in 2010, said that the leaders of Cyprus and Greece had been the first he had asked for help.

Now Israel can return the favor—and they are glad, and quick, to do it.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, June 19, 2016)

What do you think?