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January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
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Forest Fires near Jerusalem Force Partial Closure of Tel Aviv Highway

Police and rescue teams evacuated dozens of hikers and residents threatened by three fires.
Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center.

Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center.
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Dozens of firefighting crews and six helicopters are battling wind-whipped fires in the Greater Jerusalem area, and Highway 1, connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, has been closed to trucks and other heavy vehicles near the western entrance of the capital.

No injuries have been reported, but at least three homes have sustained damage.

One of the fires broke out in a plastics factory. Last week’s huge inferno that firefighters prevented from spreading to Yad VaShem broke out because of carelessness and was not an act of arson by Arabs.

Two  fires in the hills of Jerusalem, south and southwest of the city, threatens homes in the communities of Even Sapir, where the plastics factory is located, Moshe Oar and Amanda, near Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. All employees were evacuated form the factory.

The road to Hadassah Hospital also was closed.

A smaller fire broke out near Tzur Hadassah, located in western Gush Etzion and less than a mile from the Haredi city of Beitar Illit.

Fire officials said that firefighting crews are close to bringing the blazes under control.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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