Record-high heatwave coupled with fires across Israel

Israel is facing numerous wildfires in multiple locations across the country, amid a sweltering heatwave that brought about record temperatures in parts of the Jewish State.

According to the Israel Meteorological Service, Jerusalem – which is high up on hilltops – recorded temperatures of about 40 degrees Celsius today, equal to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The majority of the wildfires are raging in areas between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, where the temperature is approximately 43.5 degrees Celsius, equal to 110.3 degrees Fahrenheit.

The dry weather conditions are challenging Israeli firefighters, whom have been tirelessly battling the blazes since yesterday. According to multiple police reports, major fires that are raging across central Israel have scorched swathes of forests, and forced some small towns to be evacuated.

According to Police Commissioner for Central Israel Amihai Ashad, “The primary objective of this entire operation is about dealing with all that is connected with saving lives.” / “At present, 3,500 people have been evacuated from their homes.” / “Let me remind you that we are currently evacuating homes by force, towns by force. Which means that people will try to return to their homes. We do not permit a return to the houses.” / “The instruction right now is to save lives. Look what happened in Mevo Modiin, if we did not evacuate the town there we would have faced a different scenario. All the houses were burnt, and it is very significant on our part.”

The two regions currently facing the hottest weather conditions are the area of Israel’s northern city of Tiberius, where temperatures have reached a record high of 46 degrees Celsius, which is equal to 114,8 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Dead Sea region, where the Israel Meteorological Service recorded 48 degrees Celsius, equal to 118.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile on Israel’s southern frontier, the Gaza periphery communities are also facing a severe heatwave, with temperatures were recorded as varying between 40 to 45 degrees Celsius, which is equal to about 104 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast to the rest of the blazes, this territory continues to face repeated arson attacks, by means of incendiary kites and balloons that are launched from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip into the Jewish State.

According to a senior security source, who spoke to TV7 on condition of anonymity, talks are ongoing – by means of a third party – to try and reach a long-term arrangement with the Islamist organizations in the Palestinian enclave.

That said, Israel is also preparing for the possibility that the covert-talks regarding the establishment of a long-term ceasefire will yield no results. Some Israeli defense officials contend that the Islamic Republic of Iran is currently stirring the pot in Gaza, without the knowledge of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leadership. The presiding assessment is that Iranian agents are operating in the Gaza Strip as part of Tehran’s efforts to signal the United States, by means of threats to its ally, whether Israel or Saudi Arabia.

Several reports, which TV7 was not able to verify, claim that the Iranians are operating Islamic Jihad figures in the Hamas-controlled Strip, as well as others who were trained for many months in military schools in Iran and are directly linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. According to the reported assessments, “Tehran is therefore the key to maintaining the stability of the truce arrangement between Israel and the Islamist organizations in the Gaza Strip.”