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Arab Media: International Fire Aid Signals Israeli Weakness

Arab media report that terrorists see Israel's request for international aid to contain the inferno that swept Mt. Carmel to be a sign of weakness.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 12/5/2010, 1:20 PM / Last Update: 12/5/2010, 1:49 PM

Flash 90

Hizbullah terrorists are celebrating the tragic wildfire in northern Israel that left 41 dead and destroyed more than 12,500 acres (50,000 dunam) of forested land.

“The great Carmel fire has embarrassed Israel's firefighting capabilities and proved its almost complete incompetence,” crowed the Hizbullah-linked Al-Manar TV news network.

“The enormous blaze that broke out on the Carmel proved that Israel is not prepared for war or a mass terrorist strike that would cause many casualties in the home front,” the new network wrote on its Internet website.

Al-Manar quoted liberally from a leftist Israeli news website, pointing out “the Israeli daily pointed to the help Israel has asked for, an opportunity that wouldn't be offered for the Zionist entity in the case of war... The disaster has shown that the Israeli enemy was unable to face the incident alone, pushing Israeli officials to ask for international help.”

The Qatar-based Aljazeera news network was more reserved in its reporting, noting simply that “Israel failed to contain the fire.” The pan-Arab station also noted the fire “revealed dramatic shortcomings in the country's ability to tackle such an emergency.”

In Sunday's coverage, Aljazeera also pointed out “the battle to contain the fire is now an operation with regional implications.” It said that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has repeatedly refused to return to final status talks with Israel, expressed his condolences in a telephone call to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday. The pan-Arab network reported a statement from Netanyahu's office which described the conversation as “warm and friendly.”