Wave of Wildfires in Israel Brought under Control

October 12, 2020

by: Ilse Strauss

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Firefighters battling a blaze in northern Israel over the weekend

Monday, 12 October 2020 | The 10,000 Israelis forced to flee their homes as a sea of flames threatened to engulf communities in northern Israel were allowed to return home after firefighters managed to bring the wave of more than 250 blazes raging across Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights as well as the Galilee area under control.

Teams of firefighters battled through the night on Friday and late into Saturday afternoon to quench several large blazes that broke out on Friday morning near several communities and major highways. The Israeli police and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Home Front Command were called in on Friday afternoon to help quench the fires and evacuate those in its path.

By the time the blazes were brought under control late on Saturday, some 740 acres of land had gone up in smoke. Dozens of homes had been destroyed and several more damaged. Dozens of people, including 10 firefighters, were treated for smoke inhalation.

Fires also raged across Israel’s northern border in Lebanon and war-torn Syria. According to Lebanon’s state news agency, conflagrations tore through a number of villages on the Lebanon–Israel boundary, detonating several landmines along the front. No injuries were reported.

The Middle East is currently sweltering in the grips of an unseasonal heat wave. While the fires were reportedly triggered by the scorching, dry conditions, Israeli officials believe that arson was likely the cause of at least some of the blazes.

Posted on October 12, 2020

Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 12, 2020)

Photo Credit: Micky Rosenfeld/Police foreign press spokesman

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