Jerusalem: The Israeli government is considering calling for international assistance in battling a massive wildfire that has been raging over the past two days near Jerusalem, officials said.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office said in a statement on Monday that he instructed Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev and the National Security Council “to consider appealing for international assistance in extinguishing the fires”, reports Xinhua news agency.
Bennett also ordered the army to give “all necessary assistance to the firefighting and rescue efforts”, including sending more military aircraft to help contain the fire.
Some 45 firefighting teams and 10 aircraft were already battling the blaze, according to a statement issued by the Fire and Rescue Services.
Israel’s state-owned Kan Radio reported that more than 17 square km of forest has been scorched so far.
At least 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the Jerusalem area, a spokesperson with the city police said in a statement.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.
It broke out on Sunday amid a combination of hot, dry and windy weather.