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November 28, 2016 5:47 pm

Wives of Firefighters Recount Anxiety, Fear for Husband’s Lives During Days of Battling Blazes Across Israel

avatar by Ruthie Blum

A scene from one of the massive fires spread across Israel. Photo: Israel Fire and Rescue Authority Spokesman.

A scene from one of the massive fires that spread across Israel last week. Photo: Israel Fire and Rescue Authority Spokesman.

The wives of three members of Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services, who spent the last several days terrified for the lives of their husbands as they fought massive blazes that spread across the country, described for Channel 2 on Monday the anxiety that comes with the territory.

“We had to explain the situation to our kids,” said Keren Reisler, whose husband, Eran, was among those working around the clock to extinguish fires. “But we mothers are also afraid, and there’s nobody there to allay our concerns.”

Rotem, the wife of firefighter Liron Sol, said that the tension at home was palpable, particularly whenever her husband did not answer his cell phone. “We hope we won’t ever have to  experience such a massive and critical emergency like this one again,” she said.

Moran, married to firefighter Noam Aharon, recounted: “It was so tough,” she said, recalling the dozens of questions that were shot in her direction by family members and friends — questions she was unable to answer, even to herself. “The only thing we could do was worry and hope that everything would go as it should,” she said.

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Noy, the young daughter of firefighter Ro’i Haviv, sent her father a kiss and told him how much she had missed him while he was away. “I wanted you to be here,” she said. “I love you.”

As The Algemeiner reported late last week, arson was estimated to be behind at least half, if not more, of the fires that erupted and moved from one area to another, destroying whole forests and burning down dozens of houses and causing irreparable damage to people’s personal belongings.

Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh said that though the first fire, which ignited on Tuesday, may have been caused by negligent behavior — and spread quickly as a result of the unseasonably hot, dry and windy weather — there appeared to be a concerted “nationalistically motivated” effort to keep the blazes going.

Indeed, as soon as the fires broke out, English translations of Arabic posts written under the hashtag #IsraellsBurning began to spread like wildfire on Twitter — with attacks on the Jewish state and calls on Palestinians to go out and set additional fires.

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