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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Haifa’

Live Blog: Israel Battles #PyroTerrorism: Friday, Nov. 25, Latest Update: 3:59 PM

Friday, November 25th, 2016

JewishPress.com is live-blogging the efforts of Israel’s firefighters and security forces as they battle against the flames of pyroterrorism across the country. Arab suspects have been caught and arrested in multiple locations around Israel setting fires, even as nations from Europe, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Basin have sent aerial firefighting warriors to help battle the blazes.

3:59pm Fire Threatens Nataf Community
20 firefighting planes are battling the blaze — first row of houses in immediate danger. Evacuation Underway.

2:13 pm All Haifa Residents Allowed to Return to their Homes

The all clear has been given for all Haifa residents to return to their homes. Estimates of 700 burned and damaged homes with 37 totally destroyed.

Police have announced that they have the suspect in last night’s terror arson attack near Beit Meir which nearly destroyed the community.

Over 12 additional suspects in custody for terror arson attacks over the past few days with more arrests to come.

Currently, the primary fire not under control is in the Jerusalem Hills / Shaar Hagay area.

11:11am Fire threatens Horshim Community in Southern Sharon region
15 fire trucks – 7 planes battling the fire. Community evacuated. Heavy winds driving the fire towards the Southern edge of the community.

10:55am Fire in Nachal Kana — Shomron Region
New fire started in Nachal Kana between Nofim and Karnei Shomron.
Forces responding.

10:38 AM Fire near Kiryat Gat Junction and Nahal Sorek on Route 6. Kiryat Gat train service and main road temporarily closed, but now reopened.

9:21 AM  Three Arabs caught overnight trying to start fire near Ariel.
Security cameras caught three Arabs trying to start a fire near the city of Ariel using a Molotov cocktail. The fire department got there in time to put it out and the pyro-terrorists were caught and arrested as they fled into a nearby Arab village.

Ariel security camera

Ariel security camera

9:00 AM Yona Yahav, mayor of Haifa estimates that 700 apartments have been damaged in Haifa.

8:10 AM: A lookout saw Arabs throwing burning material from car near Nehogot in Har Hebron.
Attempt to start fire failed. Security forces searching for the pyro-terrorists.

nehogot-arson-attempt

05:30 Firefighting aircraft are also expected to arrive on Friday morning from France. Portugal was approached with a request as well but the response from Lisbon was not clear. Moscow is sending two more planes, in addition to the two that were sent on Thursday night, with the third aircraft capable of carrying 50,000 cubic meters of water, the Foreign Ministry announced. Ukraine has promised to send two firefighter planes as well, and Azerbaijan has said it will send one aircraft.

05:00 Israel received confirmation overnight that its request has been approved for the Global Supertanker aerial firefighter to be flown to the Jewish State to help in the effort to battle the flames spreading across the country. Israel contacted the company that operates the aircraft. A similar plane was flown to Israel in 2010 to assist in the fight against the Carmel Forest fires. The Boeing-747 Supertanker, operational as of six months ago, is considered the cream of the crop in aerial firefighters worldwide, capable of carrying 74 tons of flame retardant or water, able to generate enough pressure to cause a rainstorm effect, can release eight rounds of the water and/or flame retardant. Currently based in Colorado Springs, this is the only aerial fighter in the world that is capable of carrying on an aerial firefighting battle after nightfall. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late Thursday it would take 24 hours for the plane to arrive from the United States. “We only use it in extreme situations,” he said.

04:30 A Jerusalem District Police spokesperson says forces are making a final search through the remaining homes in Beit Meir to ensure none of the residents are trapped or have otherwise not yet been evacuated. No injuries have been reported. There were reports that a number of suspects were spotted and appeared to be injured but fled from the scene. Forces are searching the area. Jerusalem Regional Commander Nitzan Yoram HaLevi is carrying out a situation assessment at the on-site command headquarters together with all relevant emergency response agencies. Firefighters have managed to slow down the pace of the fire and to push it back towards the outskirts of the community. Aerial firefighters will resume battling the flames from the skies above the moshav at first light. In the coming days, police and firefighters will mark seam lines between the forested areas and the rural communities to establish permanent aerial coverage areas and identify sources of fire in the earliest stages possible.

03:59 Fire officials are going door-to-door to check each home in Beit Meir, making sure there are no residents who are trapped or otherwise remaining in the homes, many of which have already been damaged by the massive fire engulfing the community. Hundreds of firefighters are streaming towards the besieged moshav to help battle the flames.

03:30: Officials report that 25 fire trucks and some 60 firefighting teams are on site to battle the roaring fire that has already damaged a number of homes. Firefighters are doing what they can to save the rest.

03:17 The entire community of Moshav Beit Meir is being evacuated in order to ensure that everyone remains safe, as firefighters battle the huge blaze that surrounds and has begun to penetrate the moshav.

03:00 Israel Police helicopter is patrolling the area above Moshav Beit Meir and the general site around the flames, updating the forces battling the blaze from the ground. Forces are evacuating residents from Beit Meir using cars, buses and rescue vehicles. No physical injuries have been reported. A command post has been set up on site.

02:53 Good news in northern Israel, where the flames have been extinguished between Nahaf and the community of Har Halutz. The electricity is back on and residents received the “all clear” to return to their homes. Israel Police and Fire & Rescue personnel remain on alert near the communities.

02:52 Officials from Israel Electric Company arrive on site at Moshav Beir Meir and are disconnecting the power.

02:49 A number of homes have sustained damage from the flames at Beit Meir, and more firefighters are on the way to back up the forces currently on site. Beit Shemesh Fire & Rescue Commander Reuven Yitzchak is on site.

02:31 The Beit Meir fire reportedly began after police identified five Arabs trying to ignite an incendiary explosive device in the forest. It then blew up in the air and caught fire among the trees.

02:26 US Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro: “As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, our hearts are with those Israelis affected by the fires across Israel, and the brave firefighters.”

02:10 Fire officials on site at Beit Meir say it is clear the huge blaze is posing a serious threat to the homes in the moshav and have called for backup. Increased numbers of firefighters are on their way to the site. Flames are also threatening the communities at the base of the moshav, and residents of those areas are also being evacuated as well.

02:09 Another fire has broken out close to the Jewish community of Dolev in the Binyamin region. Regional Council officials are urging caravan residents to evacuate their homes as a precaution. Israel Police and firefighters are on site to assist.

02:05 First Turkish firefighting amphibious aircraft reach Israel. Two more on the way.

02:03 Evacuations taking place at Beit Meir a moshav close to Jerusalem and home to Yeshiva Ohr Yerushalayim.

01:59 A massive fire reported at the entrance to Beit Meir.

01:43 Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs tweets: “Devastating fires in #Haifa: #Canada stands with you #Israel; our thoughts with those affected.”

01:42 Terrorists hurled stones at an Israeli driver traveling along the road past the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. Vehicle damage has been reported. Israeli forces are on the scene.

01:36 Israel Police report the outbreak of a fire in the community of Ka’abia. No physical injuries reported and no damage either. Police evacuated five homes located close to the line of fire.

01:03 The electricity remains cut off in the Galilee community of Har Halutz, where firefighters say the blaze is still out of control. A total of six homes were damaged by fire. Police are patrolling the community in order to protect the belongings and property of the residents, who have all been evacuated to safety. Route 854 at the Karmiel Junction and the road up to Lapidot is blocked in both directions.

00:31 In Nazereth Illit, firefighting teams are working to prevent the spread of flames in the direction of Givat Barak. An additional forest fire appears to be endangering homes in the area, and firefighters have been sent to the site. So far officials have counted more than 40 fires in the Nazareth area since Thursday morning.

00:28 Israel may revoke citizenship of arsonists, sources say.

00:21 Stoning terror attack against an Israeli driver reported on the Hutzat Yehuda road near Tarkumia, in the Hebron region, west of the Jewish community of Adora. Vehicle damaged but no physical injuries reported.

00:16 Currently there are 16 firefighting teams battling the blaze at Har Halutz in the Galilee, with flames still threatening homes in the community, which is now empty of residents who were evacuated earlier Thursday evening. Firefighters are spread throughout the area in an effort to contain the blaze. Five homes are known to have sustained damage from the flames.

00:08 Bnei Zion Medical Center reports a total of 35 fire-related patients arrived at the hospital on Thursday, with 11 admitted for further treatment and the remainder treated and released.

00:07 New fire reported between Kabul and Timna.

00:02 Officials request the public avoid the area of Chevel Megiddo and Ramot Mishna or to the area communities in general or to the nature reserves, the forests, rivers or parks, due to the outbreaks of fire around Mishna Forest.

00:01 Fire reported near the Jewish community of Dolev, caravan residents urged to evacuate. Israeli police and firefighters assisting in the effort on site.

00:01 Israel Police say there have been no deaths or serious injuries reported as a result of the nationwide fires — a major accomplishment. On Thursday alone there were at least 250 fires around the country, making it clear that a number were deliberately set. The penalty for arson is a 15 year prison term, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked pointed out in a tweet, and she added that if state property or a nature site is involved, the sentence rises to 20 years.

Jewish Press News Briefs

#Pyroterorism on Israelis’ Minds as Fires Continue to Rage, Thousands Evacuated

Friday, November 25th, 2016

On the fourth day of blazing fires throughout Israel, new eruptions are being reported in the north and in the Jerusalem area. Overnight between Thursday and Friday, Beit Meir, a religious moshav in the Jerusalem hills, some nine miles from Jerusalem, just off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway 1, was evacuated due to a forest fire nearby. 25 firefighting crews with 60 firemen are in the area, struggling to prevent the fire from reaching local homes. Some of the homes have caught fire, though, and sustained damage.

When the Beit Meir locals initially reported the fire, they also reported seeing several suspicious looking people running away and police launched a manhunt. Shortly thereafter one man suspected of involvement with setting the fire was arrested.

Fire investigators are already working in various scenes even as the fires continue to rage, seeking clues to help figure out if a particular fire was started due to negligence or arson. According to Fire Commander Ran Shelef, Head of the Investigations Department in the National Fire and Rescue Authority, the difficulty in establishing whether a fire was set deliberately has to do with the fact that in arson cases the fire destroys most of the evidence. In Haifa, on Thursday, for instance, investigators were certain that at least some of the fires were the result of arson, but they failed to come up with conclusive evidence.

The primary goal in an arson investigation is to locate the origin of the fire, Shelef told Ha’aretz. “In a four to five room apartment you need to reach the one room where the fire started and examine the evidence regarding the cause of the fire.” In an open field this task is much harder, Shelef explained. “The topography is of no help to us, and some of the vegetation is gone. What’s even more difficult to establish are the circumstances – one little match and you got yourself a blaze. You don’t need accelerators, an ignition device or any other special apparatus.”

One of the key clues in such cases, according to Shelef, would be discovering more than one starting point for the fire. “Two starting points that cannot be explained,” he said, would be a dead giveaway for arson.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who visited Haifa to support and thank the hundreds of firefighters who are still fighting the blazes in city neighborhoods that had seen some 65 thousand residents evacuated, also discussed pyroterorism. “Any fire that’s caused by arson, and by incitement to arson – is terrorism for all intent and purposes, and we will deal with it accordingly,” Netanyahu said. “This is my directive to the security forces, police, the GSS, and the IDF: we will repay every act of lawlessness. Anyone who will try or has tried to burn down parts of the State of Israel will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

In Beit Meir, Jerusalem District Police Commander, Major General Yoram Halevy, told reporters that “evaluations, the quick arrival of rescue and police forces and an effective deployment of the forces prevented an incident where many could have been hurt. The fire spread at a very fast pace and reached some homes. In a very short time, all the residents were evacuated and we scanned for some who may have been left behind. At this point we have control over the fire and the efforts to put out the fire will continue. Our mission is to allow residents to return to their homes as soon as possible.”

“At this point a suspect has been arrested and taken for an interrogation,” Halevy reported.

David Israel

Live-Blog: Israel Battles #PyroTerrorism: Thursday, Nov. 24

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

JewishPress.com is live-blogging the efforts of Israel’s firefighters and security forces as they battle against the flames of pyroterrorism across the country.

Arabs have been caught and arrested in multiple locations setting fires.

10:54 Fire near Dolev. Caravans being evacuated

10:51 Fires spreading near Nataf / Shaar Hagai — again.

10:32 PM Evacuating homes on Mount Halutz, with one already burnt.

 Mount Halutz – also known as Har Halutz, or “Halutz” the community is located in the central Galilee, in the rocky Gush Tefen region, and is part of the Misgav Regional Council district.
Israel Electric Company has just cut the power to Halutz in accordance with orders from Israeli firefighters.

8:43 PM The fire in Emmanuel (Immanuel) is now under control. The fire got as close as 100 meters to the houses, and they almost began to evacuate.

8:36 PM Prime Minister Netanyahu in a briefing on Wednesday: “Every fire caused by arson, or incitement to commit arson, is terrorism for all intents and purposes, and we will bring them to justice.”

8:24 PM Fire near Emmanuel (Immanuel) in the Shomron, started around 20 minutes ago….going straight towards homes. Road closed from Emmanuel to Yakir.

8:09 PM Fire near Binyamin road 465, east of Tzofit, towards Ateret. 4 fire teams on site. No evacuation needed yet.

8:08 PM More than a dozen firefighters and firefighting aircraft are battling a blaze that has broken out in northern Israel in the area surrounding the community of Ein Hashufat. Firefighters are also deployed along the outskirts of the town itself, preparing to block the flames from spreading into the community because the blaze is not yet under control.

Jerusalem district fire and rescue officials say the Shuafat fire is under control. No one injured.

7:53 PM Fire and rescue officials estimate that more than 5,000 hectares of forest have burned, with untold damage to homes, property and nature, plant and animal life.

7:49 PM  Power cut off at least until tomorrow morning in the following Haifa neighborhoods: Ramat Hen, Ramat Sapir, Ramat Amogi, Ramat Begin, Ramat Golda, Horev, Old Romema and New Romema.

Beit Sahur Carmel to be evacuated shortly in Haifa, according to Israel Prisons Authority

Fire under control in Shuafat – 2 homes evacuated.

7:45 PM Route 375, Husan Bypass between Beitar Illit and El Khader junction – suspicious object. Traffic halted in both directions. Update: Reopened.

7:43 PM Firefighters battling a brush fire near Shuafat, near depot parking lot … firefighters trying to contain the blaze

7:41 PM Car filled with gasoline discovered in the brush next to a forest — occupants fled.

7:29 PM Overview of the past few hours:

-Israel Prison Service evacuating facilities in Carmel Region.
-Classes at Haifa University halted, cancelled Friday.
-Firefighters working to protect installations of Israel Election Corporation around Jerusalem.
-Traffic halted on Highway 443 at Shilat Junction due to flames.
-Brush fire outbreak in parking lot of a Modi’in train station. Both stops in Modi’in shut down as a precaution.
-Two helicopters and six firefighters scrambled to Maccabi’im checkpoint as blaze spreads toward shopping center.
-Fires in Kibbutz Harel near Beit Shemesh, Oranit, Yitzhar, Rishonim Interchange, Savion Junction, Umm al-Fahm
-Fire in Hadera at a power station when dry brush “ignited” … fire approximately 300 meters from Yitzhar, with residents helping firefighters contain the blaze.
-Fire in areas near Yuvalim and Misgav in northern Israel.
-Four firefighting aircraft from Cyprus and Greece.
-Aircraft arrived with 49 crew members, included one Air Tractor from Cyprus and two Bombardiers and one Hercules from Greece.

7:15 PM Fires restarting at Shaar Hagai

6:52 PM Fire in woods near Ein Hod

6::49 PM Firefighter evacuated from Neve Ilan, Lightly injured.

6:49 PM Keren Kayemet looking for volunteers with 4x4s to help look for fires. Call Meir Tzafriri 053-850-0936 if you can volunteer.

6:47 PM View from a helicopter above the Neve Ilan area

6:38 PM Fire near Beit Safafa (Jerusalem)

6:04 PM Pre-arson setup found in Derech Karmit in Jerusalem.

5:57 Fire in woods near Nirit, houses on fire. Evacuations have begun.

5:52 PM Prison 6 being evacuated

5:44 PM Fire in forest west of Adura

5:43 Communities in the south opening up their homes to evacuees from Haifa.

5:35 PM: Fire in Ein Shofet forest

5:30 PM Fire outside town of Yitzhar

5:25 Damon prison to be evacuated.

5:19 PM Fire in Hadera – Givat Olga – not a large fire, no one in danger.

5:21 PM IDF cancels leave. Soldiers to stay on base in ready to fight terror fires.

5:07 PM Fire in park near Nazareth Ilit.

5:00 PM MK Oren Hazan has called for life imprisonment for pyroterrorists.

4:55 PM: Firestarter kit found – Students at Hesder Yeshiva Ohr HaYeshu’a in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood in Haifa caught a youth making cardboard boxes to use as kindling to start a fire at Givat HaShivshevet between the Grande Mall and the Romema neighborhood. The youth fled and the “brush fire” was extinguished.

4:50 PM: Ramat Gilad – Land mines explodes due to heat from nearby flames

4:17 PM: Route 55 closes, in the direction of Kedum from Karnei Shomron

3:41 Firefighters trying to keep Highway 1 (Jerusalem – Tel Aviv) open as fire rages near Shaar Hagai.

3:21 PM Fire near Oranit, Yishpro Center / Modiin railway line, Maaleh Livona, Maaleh Efrayim, Har Bracha, Road 55 – Near Nabi Alias.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Friendly Nations Send Firefighter Aircraft to Help Israel Battle the Flames

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

As an estimated 220 fires raged across central and northern Israel, foreign nations sent firefighting aircraft flying to the aid of the Jewish State.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out at a briefing Wednesday that some countries were sending aerial firefighters, but said it was clear that more were going to be needed.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, Minister of Construction Yoav Galant and Minister of Interior Affairs Aryeh Deri brief media in the port city of Haifa, where flames forced 80,000 to evacuate from the city and surrounds.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, Minister of Construction Yoav Galant and Minister of Interior Affairs Aryeh Deri brief media in the port city of Haifa. Flames forced 80,000 to evacuate from the city and surrounds.

“Firefighting planes from Israel and around the world are the critical component… That’s why we built the fire air squadron and it’s doing an excellent job. Countries are joining hands… Russia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Croatia and Turkey have already answered the call.”

By Thursday morning, Israel’s Foreign Ministry had announced via Twitter and other social media venues: “The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations has sent two Beriev Be-200 amphibious aircraft to fight the fires in Israel.”

The ministry didn’t forget to offer the nation’s thanks to everyone who sent help in Israel’s hour of need. “Thank you #Cyprus, #Croatia, #Greece, #Italy, #Russia, #Turkey, #Romania & Bulgaria for sending help to fight the fires in Israel. True friends!” tweeted the ministry on the Twitter social networking site.

Smoke billows over the Northern Israeli city of Haifa, where a major fire raged across the city on November 24, 2016.

Smoke billows over an apartment house in Haifa.

Four firefighting aircraft arrived from Cyprus and Greece alone. Included were 49 crew members, one Air Tractor from Cyprus and two Bombardiers and one Hercules from Greece, all ready for immediate battle and highly valued for their carrying capacity. Additional aircraft arrived from Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Italy and Croatia.

The entire State of Israel had only 2,500 fire personnel at last count in 2013, including 1,800 firefighters. According to Israel Fire and Rescue Authority, only some seven percent of Israel’s total area is comprised of forest land, about 400,560 acres (1,621,000 dunams.) Each year, an average of 1,000 fires blaze in Jewish National Fund (JNF) forests in the country, affecting some 37,000 dunams (about 9,000 acres) of land.

Fire and Rescue Commissioner Shahar Ayalon, appointed under the Ministry of Public Security, is working together with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh and other top security officials to bring the current crisis to an end.

“Every fire caused by arson, or incitement to commit arson, is terrorism for all intents and purposes,” Netanyahu underlined at the briefing, “and we will bring them to justice.”

Update for our readers in Azerbaijan, on Friday (Nov. 25) Azerbaijan sent a fire-fighting plane.

Hana Levi Julian

Haifa Hesder Students Rescue Nursury School Children From Fire as Yeshiva Burns Down

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Students from the Hesder Yeshiva Mevaser Shalom in Haifa ran out to evacuate the nursery school located in the first floor of their building, as the pyroterrorism fire got closer to their building.

Having saved the children, the students tried to return to the yeshiva to save the holy books, but it was too late, the building was on fire, and everything was lost.

All the teachers and students are alive and well.

The Hesder Yeshiva combines Torah study and IDF army service in a five year program.

yeshiva-mevaser-shalom-2

yeshiva-mevaser-shalom-3

Jewish Press News Briefs

Arrests Made as Israel Burns

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

A number of arrests have been made by security personnel as Israeli firefighters continued on Thursday to battle blazes raging across the center and north of the country, with communities in the south opening their doors to those who were forced to flee the flames.

“It’s likely that there is a nationalist motive in some of the arson cases,” Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh told reporters at a briefing in the northern city of Haifa on Thursday.

“We have a special integrated investigation team that is monitoring everything that is happening across the country,” he said. “I don’t want to get into questions regarding where [we suspect] arson and where we do not. If this is… arson, it could be nationalistically motivated. It’s certainly not just [simple] pyromania,” he emphasized. “And there have been arrests. But Alsheikh declined to share further details.

“There are some cases of arson, and lots of cases that are not arson,” he allowed, but revealed little else.

Four Arabs from the Palestinian Authority have been arrested so far on suspicion of having deliberately set the fires that continue to blaze across the Jerusalem Corridor.

Officials from the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said in a statement they are investigating the possibility that some of the fires are actually terrorist attacks.

Earlier in the day, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement that up to half of the fires raging across the nation were, in fact, caused by arson. High winds and dry weather, he said, meant that a spark as small as a cigarette butt could ignite a blazing forest fire.

In Haifa, a state of emergency was declared. Some 60,000 people were evacuated from their homes, at least 100 were sent to city hospitals suffering from smoke inhalation. More than a dozen neighborhoods were evacuated, local trains stopped running and the local airport was shut down.

Fires near the Paz Bridge, Haifa Bay and the city stadium were reported, with high winds and dry conditions helping the flames to spread.

Some 350 firefighters and Home Front Command rescue personnel working with 115 fire trucks battled dozens of blazes across the port city.

Southern Israeli communities have again swung into action — as they did during prior wars — and are asking families on a pre-arranged list to take in those who were forced to flee their homes.

In the northern Negev city of Arad, the S. family told JewishPress.com, “We’ve really got no room, since we moved into a smaller house since that last time, but we might take in a couple. We’ll probably put the kids in the living room; they’re still pretty small.”

Hesder yeshiva students from the Ohr Yeshu’a Yeshiva in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood caught an Arab teen red-handed as he made kindling from cardboard boxes to start another fire, Rotter.net reported. The teen managed to escape, but the students were at least able to put out the fire.

Four road workers were arrested Wednesday in the mixed-population community of Nataf, near Jerusalem, for not properly extinguishing a fire they started in order to cook a meal. They were freed Thursday.

Hana Levi Julian

Bennett on a Bike

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Education Minister Naftali Bennett hitched a ride with United Hatzalah to get a closer view of the fires in Haifa.

Fires have broken out around the country, in most cases, very likely due to arson or pyroterrorism.

Photo of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/bennett-on-a-bike/2016/11/24/

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