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July 2, 2012 11:02 am

Jerusalem Sees Increased Threat of Arson Attacks

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Fire truck in Jerusalem. Photo: wiki commons.

Following a state report on one of the worst fires in Israel’s history, Jerusalem’s arson problem has raged on.

A recent report by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss on the December 2010 Mount Carmel fire—which claimed 44 lives—cited flaws in the way Israel’s emergency services, firefighters, police, and prison authorities have handled large fires. After the report, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he took “overall responsibility” for failing to use his clout to appropriate the necessary government resources for firefighting.

There were two simultaneous forest fires in Jerusalem on June 26.

“Forest fires don’t just happen, and when two fires start simultaneously it is fitting that we will ‘lift our antennas,'” National Fire and Rescue Services Commissioner Shahar Ayalon told Haaretz.

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The Jerusalem Post reported June 24, the same day Jerusalem firefighters put out what they believed to be more arsons, that over a recent six-week period there have been over 2,000 arsons in the city. Jerusalem sees 8,000 fire-related incidents per year.

Though Netanyahu took the blame for the 2010 Mount Carmel fire, Algemeiner editor Dovid Efune highlighted the rash of subsequent arsons perpetrated by Israeli Arabs as the root of the problem.

“For Israel, [the uptick in arsons] serves as a stark reminder that the internal 5th column threat posed by many Israeli Arabs is a real and developing challenge that must be addressed,” Efune wrote.

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