Firefighters and Police officers at the site of a fire that started from missiles launched from Lebanon, at the Biriya Forest in Northern Israel, on June 13, 2024. (Photo by David Cohen/Flash90) (Photo by David Cohen/Flash90)
hezbollah fires

Around 60,000 Israelis evacuated northern communities in October due to daily Hezbollah rocket and drone attacks sparking widespread fires.

By Pesach Benson, TPS

Israeli firefighting crews are battling blazes across the Galilee and Golan sparked by a barrage of Hezbollah rockets and drones on Sunday.

Firefighters were working amidst a heatwave. Temperatures in some areas of the north reached 37°.

The Arbel National Park and Nature Reserve overlooking the Sea of Galilee was closed due to the fires.

Sirens were heard in Meron, Kibbutz Sasa, Kfar Shamai, Beit Shean, Moshav Amirim and Kfar Hoshen.

Meanwhile, a 28-year-old Israeli farmer in Moshav Kfar Zeitim in the Lower Galilee was hospitalized with shrapnel injuries. Magen David Adom emergency responders said the man was fully conscious and taken to Tiberias for treatment in serious and stable condition.

Meanwhile, the fires that broke out between Thursday and Friday after a large barrage from Lebanon, scorched more than 3,100 acres, of which roughly 1,850 acres were in the Golan and 1,130 acres in the Upper Galilee, according to Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority.

“These fires are a difficult and traumatic event for the area, we are talking about a huge firepower and intense heat, the animals are trying to escape, but not all of them succeed. The small animals are unable to escape from the flames, so some of them suffocate or burn from the smoke, or die from the heat,” said Dr. Amit Dolev, the Nature and Parks Authority’s North District ecologist.

“Plants, especially trees, will take a long time to return to their original size. The herbaceous vegetation that is burned will indeed be seen recovering already this coming winter, but it is food for many animals that live in the area cell, therefore the amount of food available in the summer for the animals is drastically reduced. We know fires every year in this area and this season, the significant difference is the intensity and scope, they are much bigger,” he explained.

Since the beginning of the year, 25,866 acres of land in northern Israel have been burnt, with half the fires taking place in nature reserves and national parks, and the other half in forests and open areas.

On Saturday night, an Israeli airstrike in the northern Lebanese city of Baalbek killed Meitham Mustafa Altaar, a key figure in Hezbollah’s Aerial Defense Unit.

Around 60,000 Israelis living in northern communities were forced to evacuate in October when the Hezbollah terror organization began daily rocket and drone attacks.

Leaders of the Iran-backed terror group have said they will continue the attacks to prevent Israelis from returning to their homes. Hezbollah attacks have killed 10 civilians and 15 soldiers.

Israeli officials have been calling for Hezbollah to be disarmed and removed from Southern Lebanon in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War.


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