Inicio NOTICIAS Arsonists once again target Jerusalem for attacks

Arsonists once again target Jerusalem for attacks

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 Jerusalem fire crews worked non-stop on Sunday with a number of large fires, many of which they believe were arson attacks.

The largest forest fire on Sunday was near the Jerusalem suburbs of Ora and Aminadav, which drew nine fire crews from Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh. Police evacuated five homes in Aminadav and there was some damage to a storage unit, though there were no injuries. Fire and Rescue spokesman Asaf Abras said firefighters were able to control the fire within a few hours to because they immediately decided to bring in fire fighting planes. Abras said firefighters are not sure whether the blaze was intentionally set or not.

Around 7:30 AM on Sunday five firefighting crews responded to heavy smoke coming from the wadi next to the American consulate in the Arnona neighborhood. Later on Sunday afternoon, four fire fighting crews responded to a blaze next to Highway 9 near the French Hill neighborhood. While they were dealing with that fire, they received reports of six small fires in the wadi next to Hebrew University.

Abras said the fires next to the consulate and the university “followed the same pattern of arson that we’ve seen” in the past few weeks.

Jerusalem has been experiencing a wave of arson attacks in open areas. Originally this was concentrated around the Arnona neighborhood in southeast Jerusalem but it has moved north to the forests in northeast Jerusalem as well.

According to Abras, in the past two weeks there have been over 200 fires in open areas that firefighters consider arson. There have been more than 2000 arson attacks in the past month and a half.

In an average year, the Jerusalem fire department deals with 8,000 fire-related incidents, of which 4,000 are fires in open areas, fields, and forests.

Jerusalem police arrested two Jewish teenagers from southeast Jerusalem two weeks ago in connection with the arson attacks, but the fires have continued unabated, leading police to believe there could be a larger group involved.

Each fire crew usually uses about 3,000 liters of water per fire, Abras said. Arson attacks are costing the fire department astronomical amounts this summer.

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