(AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Greece fires

‘Israel mourns with the people of Greece over the loss of life. I express my deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones,’ Netanyahu told Tsipras.

By: United with Israel Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday spoke by telephone with his Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras, expressing sorrow over the disastrous fires that struck Greece and killed at least 79 people.

“Israel mourns with the people of Greece over the loss of life. I express my deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones,” Netanyahu told Tsipras.

“We stand with our Greek friends following the terrible Greece fires, which have left dozens dead,” Yuval Rotem, director general of the ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Twitter.

“As we pray that these fires claim no further casualties, Israel sends its heartfelt condolences to the Greek people & stands committed to provide assistance if necessary,” he added.

Earlier in the day, the foreign ministry said that Israel’s National Security Council in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Israeli Embassy in Athens contacted their counterparts in Greece to offer aid.

Greek authorities responded that at this stage they have gained control of the fires.

“Israel has emergency teams waiting on stand-by. Israel stands ready to aid Greece in any way necessary. The Greek authorities have expressed their thanks to Israel for its offer of aid,” the foreign ministry stated.

Committed to Help in Any Way

“Dear friends in Greece- our heartfelt condolences for the deadly consequences of the devastating forest fires. We are with you and ready to assist in any possible way,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted.

He later stated that acting on instructions from Netanyahu, Israel has offered medical assistance to the wounded.

“We are committed to help in any possible way,” he said.

Rescue crews were searching Wednesday through charred homes and cars for those still missing after the deadliest wildfires to hit Greece in decades decimated seaside areas near Athens, killing at least 79 people and sending thousands fleeing.

There was no official indication as to how many people might be missing, and some took to social media and Greek television stations with appeals for information on their loved ones. With the number of missing unclear, authorities appealed to people to call them if they were searching for anyone.

Flags across Greece are flying at half-staff since the prime minister declared three days of national mourning for the victims.

The two fires on either side of the Greek capital started Monday within hours of each other and were fanned by gale-force winds that hampered firefighting efforts.

The speed with which the fire northeast of Athens spread took many by surprise, which is believed to have contributed to the high death toll.