A resident of the Israeli Arab village of Abu Ghosh has been indicted on charges of starting a forest fire in the area west of Jerusalem.
Abu Ghosh, friendly to Israelis for decades, is comprised mostly of Christian Arabs and is extremely popular both locally and abroad for its world-famous hummus.
Apparently one of its residents is not nearly as friendly to Israel, however. An indictment was filed in Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday against 19 year old Sa’id Abd al-Rahman, charging him with arson.
Rahman was accused of igniting a fire, using a lighter, last Sunday at a grove on HaTamar Street. He allegedly lit the blaze after a number of other fires were already burning in the area, according to the indictment.
Firefighters succeeded in extinguishing the blaze within 15 minutes – though not before half a dunam (1/8 acre) of forested land had already been destroyed.
The crime may indicate that Rahman intended to participate in an act of arson terror, a relatively new recent type of terrorism being perpetrated against Israeli by Palestinian Authority and Israeli Arabs especially in forested areas.
Hana Levi Julian