Saturday, June 19th | 9 Tammuz 5781

June 10, 2021 9:41 am

Arson Suspected in Massive Forest Fires Around Jerusalem, Samaria

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An Israeli firefighter works to extinguish a blaze caused by an incendiary device sent from Gaza into southern Israel on June 27, 2019. Photo: Israel Fire and Rescue Services. – Israeli fire authorities suspect that arson is behind the massive forest fires that erupted near Jerusalem and in Samaria on Wednesday.

“The motive could be nationalistic,” Jerusalem Fire and Rescue Services District Commander Nissim Twito told Channel 13, pointing to previous fires and the many cases of Molotov cocktails having been thrown in the area.

National Fire and Rescue Authority Commissioner Dedi Simchi told the news outlet that the fires were likely ignited, as there had been no lightning showers that day, and that the hot and dry June weather, combined with strong winds, contributed to their spread.

More than 70 firefighting squads and 12 firefighting aircraft took part in the effort to contain the fires throughout Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

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