GONDER, ETHIOPIA (ANS) — As with the majority of disasters and humanitarian crises, Israel acted as a first responder to Ethiopia’s Simien Mountain fires after Prime Minister Netanyahu deployed firefighters and humanitarian aid on Saturday.
According to Behold Israel, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed a delegation of 11 were sent to Ethiopia on Saturday, releasing the statement, “Under the instruction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Defense, a special delegation of firefighters arrived in Addis Ababa on Sunday morning to help extinguish the huge fire that has raged for two weeks in the Simien Mountains area in northern Ethiopia.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed directly requested Israel’s assistance over the weekend, the Office of Prime Minister Ahmed confirming Sunday, “Fire extinguishing helicopters and technical experts from different countries have arrived in Gonder city to begin the firefighting work in Simien National Park.”
Behold Israel said Media reports claim Ethiopia requested assistance from South Africa and Kenya before contacting Israel on Saturday. Israel’s delegation will work alongside local firefighting forces and includes a chopper.
The fires at Simien National Park have been ongoing for several days as Ethiopia does not have the expertise or equipment needed, mainly a chopper, to control the fires. A reported 300 hectares of land have been burned.
Israel’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Rafael Morav, praised Israel’s delegation, stating on Sunday: “Israel stands by Ethiopia in fighting the wildfire in Simien Mountain National Park. An Israeli mission of experts in firefighting has landed this morning in Gondar to join the local forces in Simien Mountain. They will also advise on various techniques in containing fire.”