Fires across Israel wreak havoc

Fires continue to rage across Israel, with firefighters, backed by airplanes, battling flames that burned through the countryside near several communities, forcing authorities to evacuate areas where several homes have been damaged and over a dozen people have been injured. Strong winds and a dry spell continue to feed the fires across the country for its fourth day, which sprung up in several locations in central and northern Israel, with the most damage and injuries occurring in the hilltop town of Zichron Ya’akov, where near a dozen homes were completely burnt and several people were injured, including two children and two infants. “At the moment both airplanes as well as firefighters on the ground are dealing with the flames. No injuries have been reported until now and of course we are looking to see whether the fire began as a result of severe weather conditions or whether there are any suspects who could have been behind that and started the fire deliberately,” said Mickey Rosenfeld, Israeli Police Spokesman.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a special briefing of the situation at the fire-fighting HQ, which was set-up to deal with the fires raging across the country, during which the Israeli leader emphasized the two main objectives. “Our first objective is to save lives. While our assets were hit, it is fixable. Our first objective is to save lives, and to safeguard our civilians’ health, to distance them from the line of fire, and to do all that is necessary that they are in a safe area. All that is necessary. The second objective is to save infrastructure and property,” said Netanyahu who added that Israel was prepared to do all in its power to battle the fires, emphasizing that while the current weather conditions predict a challenging and prolonged battle against the fires raging across the country, the Jewish state has learned its lessons from the worst forest-fire in Israel’s history, which struck the country’s north some six years ago.

“According to the weather forecast that I have heard here, we are incapable of saying that the dry spell and winds, which create the natural fires as well as unnatural arson. Laying the ground for plenty of fires. These circumstances aren’t going to end, probably not tomorrow nor the next day. That is why we are preparing in different manners to deal with this problem,” added the PM. Meanwhile, the international community has answered Israel’s plea for assistance, with several countries, including: Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Italy and Croatia sending firefighting planes in a coordinated effort to battle the raging fires across the country.