Tags: israeli | fires | arson | netanyahu

Israeli Fires Send Thousands Fleeing Amid Arson Suspicions

Israeli Fires Send Thousands Fleeing Amid Arson Suspicions

 (AP)

Thursday, 24 November 2016 07:59 PM

Thousands of Israelis fled wildfires that spread through the northern port city of Haifa as authorities suggested blazes were set deliberately.

“It’s safe to assume that if it is arson, it is nationalist,” Israeli’s police chief Roni Alsheich said in broadcast remarks to reporters. “Nationalist” is a phrase authorities use to describe attacks by Arabs.

The fires erupted in six different areas “more or less simultaneously,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. Eight neighborhoods were ordered evacuated, and tens of thousands of people were displaced, he said. Haifa is Israel’s third-largest city, with a population of about 280,000, according to government statistics.

“Any blaze caused by arson is terrorism,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a news conference in the city.

Spread by strong autumn winds, the flames led to the hospitalization of at least 40 people, mostly for smoke inhalation, Rosenfeld said. Together with other blazes across the country over the past three days, the fires were the worst to hit Israel since 2010 when 42 people died in a forest region south of Haifa.

Firefighters fought the flames from the ground while airplanes sought to douse the fires from above. Several countries, including Russia, Cyprus, Turkey, Croatia and Greece sent aircraft and other assistance to battle the fires, Rosenfeld said. Netanyahu said he issued an order to bring a massive Supertanker firefighting plane from the U.S.

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Thousands of Israelis fled wildfires that spread through the northern port city of Haifa as authorities suggested blazes were set deliberately."It's safe to assume that if it is arson, it is nationalist," Israeli's police chief Roni Alsheich said in broadcast remarks to...
israeli, fires, arson, netanyahu
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2016-59-24
Thursday, 24 November 2016 07:59 PM
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