Terror Arson Suspected in Massive Forest Fires Near Jerusalem
JERUSALEM – Two massive fires broke out recently in the Jerusalem area, one in the Giloh neighborhood and one near Abu-Gosh, on the main route between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
The fire in Abu-Gosh caused the shutting down of route No. 1 between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for several hours, as 27 firefighter teams, using air support from six planes, worked to extinguish the raging blaze.
In Giloh, the fire began in a large, wooded park. Residents in the vicinity were evacuated from their homes. This time, 17 teams, including reinforcements from Gush Etzion, worked to overcome the fire. Twenty five acres of woods were destroyed together with the wildlife. No injuries were reported.
Fire investigators on the scene confirmed that the blaze was intentionally ignited, probably in an act of terror.
Another fire, lit simultaneously near Neve Michael, in the Ela Valley, consumed 55 acres of brush and wildlife.
On Monday, Arab arsonists ignited a fire near the fence of Beit El. An initial investigation discovered that they used a burning tire to start the fire and possibly threw a Molotov cocktail as well.
Terror arson is a well known phenomenon in Israel, as militants take advantage of the hot and dry weather to cause damage, destroy property, and endanger lives.