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May 27, 2016 / 19 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘forest’

Beit Shemesh Forest Fire ‘Worst Since Carmel’

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Hundreds of firefighters battled a forest fire that tore through the Beit Shemesh area on Friday, destroying nearly 2,000 dunam of woodland.

The blaze has been dubbed “the worst fire since the Carmel disaster” – one that could take the land up to 20 years to recover.

It is not yet clear what started the fire, although officials believe it may have been connected to an authorized fire in a nearby moshav. The extreme heat and dry conditions of the past week, plus a breeze, could have carried a spark from that fire into the nearby forest and up the hills, spreading the blaze, a Jewish National Fund (JNF) official said.

Firefighters from Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh spent the entire day on Friday working to bring the blaze under control. Natural forest and woodland, vegetation and uncultivated land all was leveled to ash.

“Seventy fire trucks with the help of other authorities, among them the police who worked to evacuate communities and civilians,” were involved in the effort, said Kobi Tobol, commander of the Beit Shemesh-Jerusalem District Fire Department.

“Everyone worked throughout the entire day and managed to stop the fire from reaching residential areas. Despite that, in such a big fire, the damage to nature and to the animals is massive and will require many years of rehabilitation.”

Gilad Mastai, Jewish National Fund head of the coastal area and Shfela Plains, explained the forest, planted in the 1950s and 1960s, was relatively old. “Beyond that, resting stops and trails were also damaged,” he told the Hebrew-language Ynet website. “This fire burned grown and large trees in addition to the destruction of the undergrowth of thicket growing under the pine trees.

“There are jackals, snakes and tortoises in the area that were burned and trapped in the fire. This is dozens of years of damage. A unique vacation spot was taken from the people of Israel,” he said.

Nevertheless, Mastai suggested that people return to the forest in the coming year anyway, to “see how it rehabilitates itself.”

Hana Levi Julian

Abu Ghosh Resident Charged with Arson

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

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

Wildfire Rages Out of Control Near Abu Ghosh

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

A wildfire is reportedly raging out of control near the Christian Arab town of Abu Ghosh, near the western face of the Jerusalem hills. The fire broke out Tuesday afternoon, but quickly blazed out of control due to the high winds in the area.

By mid-afternoon, at least a dozen fire trucks had reached the area to fight the flames, along with six firefighting aircraft.

Abu Ghosh is located along Route 1, on the road between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, close to the Jewish hareidi religious community of Telz Stone, also known as ‘Kiryat Ye’arim,’ where it is believed that the Ark of the Covenant was placed. Abu Ghosh is a small village, friendly to Jews and nationally famous for its secret, special family recipes for hummus. Kosher versions of ‘Abu Ghosh’ hummus are sold by a number of Israeli appetizing manufacturers and stocked in supermarkets across the country.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/wildfire-rages-out-of-control-near-abu-ghosh/2014/06/17/

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