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Chile Calls On Israel to Compensate For Park Fire

Chile Calls On Israel to Compensate For Park Fire

Some Chilean lawmakers have called on Israel to compensate Chile for damage to a popular national park because an Israeli national has been charged with starting the fire.

The fires at Torres del Paine were still burning Tuesday, a week after they started, but were under control.

Rotem Singer, 23, of the central Israeli city of Nes Tziona, was arrested Dec. 31 and released on bail. He was ordered to remain in the region for the next three months as the case is investigated.

Some 48 wildfires have burned more than 32,000 acres of forest and destroyed at least 100 homes. More than 560 firefighters and military personnel from Chile and Argentina have been working to bring the fire under control.

Israel's Foreign Ministry on Monday released a statement expressing "solidarity" with Chile and "sorrow" over the destruction to the national park and tourist site.

"Israel has also experienced a similar disaster last year in the Carmel forests, and that painful memory enhances our sense of common destiny," the statement said.

The ministry offered to send a mission of experts in forestry to assist in rehabilitating the forest and to donate tree seedlings for the effort.

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