As the Jewish holiday of Hanukah has begun this week, a serious national crisis is unfolding in northern Israel. "More than 12,000 northern Israel residents were being evacuated from their homes as a massive fire continued to rage Thursday night," reports Ynet News. The fire, which broke out near the Druze village of Usfiya in the North on Thursday morning, took the lives of 40 prison guards and injured dozens more.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke with the chief of staff and ordered the army to provide all the forces necessary to extinguish the fire that was raging in the Carmel forest and to care for the wounded. Interior Minister Eli Yishai instructed his office to move firefighter forces from all over the country to the North to help gain control of the fire. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his staff traveled Thursday evening to the area of the blaze, in order to be on top of the situation from the field. Speaking earlier in Jerusalem, he said, "we have never known a tragedy of this scope."
*For the fires to be contained and put out quickly *For the Israelis who have been evacuated from their homes to be comforted and to have adequate housing and all the supplies they need *For no further evacuations to be necessary *For other countries to provide Israel needed assistance in firefighting *For believers in Israel to be able to love their neighbors in real and practical ways during this crisis