Assistance sought from Greece، Croatia، Cyprus — Turkey will likely not be asked to help considering recent tensions; Hundreds of firefighters are battling 2 major conflagrations، as well as many smaller blazes، as scorching temperatures reach 48 degrees Celsius in some parts of southern Israel; at least 16 homes destroyed، as Ynet said. Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan held a briefing with the police and firefighter commissioners، along with representatives of MDA and other emergency services as the country battles multiple، large wildfires that have led to the evacuation of several dozen homes. Erdan spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who instructed that assistance be sought from neighboring countries — Greece، Cyprus، Italy and Croatia، but not Turkey — to help with the blazes. 12 planes and two helicopters are currently being used to battle the flames، but apparently more are required. As of 7pm Thursday evening، major fires are burning at two primary locations: Mevo Modi'im and Kibbutz Harel. Some 200 firefighters are battling flames at those two locations. At least 16 homes were destroyed by the fires and police ordered both towns fully evacuated of residents.
Israelis sizzled in sweltering heat، as the weather reached scorching temperatures across the country. By the afternoon hours، Tel Aviv and the northern city of Haifa both saw some 40 degrees celsius. In the southern city of Be’er Sheva، temperatures rose to 44 degrees، while the Dead Sea region experienced 48 degrees on Thursday afternoon. Firefighting brigades mobilized all available units and are using planes and dozens of fire trucks to try to regain control of the massive flames raging in the Jerusalem area، the Mount Hebron region and in woodlands in the center of the country. Authorities evacuated some homes in the region as the flames began spreading to residential areas.