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November 25, 2016 2:07 pm

Following Damaging Wildfires, Israeli Cabinet to Hold Weekly Meeting in Recovering Haifa

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with a Croatian firefighting aircrew at Hatzor Airbase, Friday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with a Croatian firefighting aircrew at Hatzor Airbase, Friday.

The Israeli cabinet will hold its weekly meeting in Haifa on Sunday after fires in recent days damaged an estimated 700 homes in the northern city, before being contained.

Ofir Gendelman — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arab media spokesman — tweeted that Haifa, which is home to Israel’s largest Arab population, would need “urgent” government aid to recover from the disaster.

Early Friday, the approximately 60,000 Haifa residents who had been forced to evacuate their homes were allowed to return.

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That same day, Netanyahu — accompanied by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan — toured the moshav of Beit Meir in central Israel, where ten homes were burned down by fires on Thursday night. The prime minster also met with firefighters there.

Later in the day, Netanyahu visited the Hatzor Air Base, where he met with foreign aircrews who are helping battle the fires that have been plaguing the country this week.

On Thursday, Israeli media outlets reported that arson was behind at least 60 percent of the fires.

Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh confirmed this while responding to reporters’ questions at the site of one of the dozens of hotspots in the north and center of the country.

No deaths or serious injuries had occurred as a result of the fires as of Friday.

As reported by The AlgemeinerPalestinians and Arabs across the Middle East have been rejoicing on social media over this week’s fires in the Jewish state, using the hashtag “#IsraellsBurning.”

Watch a video of Netanyahu visiting Hatzor Air Base below:

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