Thousands of dunams in Israel have been destroyed by Arab arson terror.
By United With Israel Staff
As Israel enters summer, temperatures hover around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, regularly breaking the 100 degree mark. Wild fires are always a concern. During the past few weeks, the country has also faced hundreds of devastating fires due to arson and vandalism.
Israeli firefighters have battled fires, mainly throughout Judea and Samaria, but also in Jerusalem-area communities.
Authorities suspect that most of the fires are the work of Arab arsonists, perpetrating another form of terror. These terrorists take advantage of Israel’s dry, hot summer months and ignite fires with the intent to destroy as much property as possible, devastating Israel’s natural beauty. Loss of Jewish lives is also desired.
Thousands of residents have already been displaced from their homes due to mass blazes.
An Entire Village Destroyed
On May 26, the entire village of Mevo Modi’im was destroyed by arson. The same fire damaged much of Kibbutz Harel.
In Jerusalem, police have arrested several Arabs, caught red-handed with materials to start fires.
On Tuesday, terrorists succeeded in causing extensive damage to a cherry tree plantation belonging to Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, outside of Jerusalem. The Arabs threw firebombs into the area causing much damage.
Meanwhile, another fire has been raging since Wednesday night in the Samarian hills near Itamar. Thus far, about 7,000 dunams (1,700 acres) of farmland have been burned.
“This is the fourth fire to break out in 4 days, endangering residents and families, destroying years’ worth of work by farmers. The heart breaks,” Iyar Segal, a resident of the Itamar hills reported.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, said of the destruction, “The farmers, who really sacrifice themselves to work the land and make desolation bloom, cannot be the last ones on the food chain. They should be helped and the fires should be stopped in every possible way.”
Also on Wednesday, an Israeli-owned vineyard in the biblical city of Shiloh, in Samaria, was destroyed by arsonists. Following reports of several suspicious looking individuals fleeing the area, the mass fires broke out.
While the Shiloh blazes were being fought by firefighters, the wind shifted, causing the fires to burn nearby Arab-owned fields as well.
Today, dozens of homes were evacuated as a brush fire raged through the Jerusalem suburb of Even Sapir and the nearby Moshav Aminadav, next to the Haddassah Ein Kerem Hospital.
The Israel Fire and Rescue services said that 16 firefighting crews were battling the blaze. Six firefighting planes and a helicopter were dispatched to fight the spreading fires.
The Times of Israel reported that more than a thousand firefighters were dispatched last month to battle 1,023 fires throughout the country over a 41 hour span of time. Thirteen firefighters were lightly injured due to their efforts to extinguish the blazes, which were set every two and a half minutes.
Yaron Rosenthal, a Kibbutz Kfar Etzion member and the director of the Society for the Protection of Nature at the Kfar Etzion Field School, wrote in a press release, “They throw Molotov cocktails at us. Whoever loves this country does not burn it.”
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“…for the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land… a land of wheat and barley, vines, figs and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey”