Recovering from many fires

Israel is now entering into the recovery phase after the outbreak of many fires last week. According to this week’s Middle East News Report, there are normally around 90 fires per day in the country at this time of year. But last week there were more than 400 per day at the height of the problem, many of which are thought to have been started deliberately.

A firefighter at one of the fires

Yesterday Israel’s Finance Minister promised help to all affected, saying “The state will provide full compensation to people who will be defined as victims of hostilities under the existing regulations and protocols … we will be there and not allow the insurance companies to abandon the civilians.” 

The city of Haifa came under significant threat from the fires, so that more than 60,000 people were evacuated on Thursday, and hundreds of homes have been rendered uninhabitable.

At a special cabinet meeting in Haifa on Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu praised Israeli firefighters for their work:

“I salute all those who took part in dealing with this crisis, in extinguishing the fires, and in guarding life and property. We have built an impressive ability to fight fires on the ground and from the air and it proved itself. I do not want to imagine what might have happened if we hadn't built this ability.” 

The Israelis were also grateful for teams from more than 6 other countries who helped with the fire-fighting effort, including Palestinians.

With many fires thought to have been started deliberately, Israel’s media have reported that thirty-seven people had been arrested on suspicion of arson. These included 18 Arab Israelis, according to reports.

Police have stated that of 90 fires that have been investigated, about one-third were started by arsonists.


P.S. If you would like to make a donation towards the recovery effort,
        you can do so through our Fire Emergency Appeal.