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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Haifa’

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


Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Haifa police are now certain the fires that broke out throughout the city on Thursday morning were set by arsonists, as one of the fires appears to have been set just outside a fire station in the city – the idea being to delay the response of firefighting trucks to alarms.

Some 60,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the city from 12 neighborhoods and more than 100 have suffered minor injuries.

“We identified an arson hotspot near the fire station and others in a few additional hotspots,” Acting Commissioner for the National Firefighting Services Shimon Ben-Ner told Walla. Ben-Ner believes this was part of an effort to paralyze the firefighting services in Haifa.

The wave of fires raging across Israel has reached its fourth day as several neighborhoods in Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, are being evacuated: Neot Sapir, Ramat Hen, Ramat Almogi, Ramat Ben-Gurion, Ahuza, Merkaz Horev, Romema, Ramat Eshkol, Begin, Ramat Golda and Neot Peres. Residents are being removed from homes, schools and kindergartens to the Auditorium in Carmel Center, the Bat Galim JCC and the Kiryat Eliezer Stadium. So far nine have been reported hurt mildly and one in fair condition.

Firefighting planes and more than 50 teams are on the scene in Haifa, and the public is urged to avoid drive to or through the coastal city. Homeland Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Thursday morning told Army Radio he expects the fires to continue to next week due to the strong winds.

Police suspect that some of the fires throughout the country have been the work of arsonists, although police believe the initial fires were not man made and the arsonists joined the game later.

Yet another fire broke out in an open area in Haifa, near the Paz bridge, which connects highway 4 to downtown. The fire spread quickly in the thorny bushes of the open field, driven by strong winds. Police reported two were lightly injured from smoke inhalation. Haifa University was evacuated. Rt. 22 was closed.

The fire in an open field near the Hadera Orot Rabin power station is in the process of getting under control. Orot Rabin is Israel’s largest power station whose 2,590 MW representing about 19% of the Israel Electric Corporation’s total generation capacity.

Haifa is burning

Haifa is burning

David Israel

Fires Still Spreading Countrywide, Police Investigate Pyroterrorism

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

On Wednesday night, Police Commissioner Ronnie Alshich and Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) met with security officials to evaluate suspicions that some of the fires that have been raging throughout Israel this week were the caused by arson. The debate resulted in a decision to increase police presence significantly in open areas near towns and villages, utilizing Border Guard forces. According to police, spreading law enforcement officers outside civilian enclaves will deter arson and enable quick detection of newly set fires.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) twitted on Wednesday: “Only someone this country doesn’t belong to is capable of burning it.” Earlier, MK Anat Berko (Likud) noted in her Facebook page that the anti-terrorism law imposes enhanced sentencing for nationalistic arson.

One of the suspicious fires this week has been the worst of them, in the town of Zichron Yaakov on Mt. Carmel, were some 200 firefighters, including ten planes, finally managed to bring the multiple fires under control “completely and officially” Wednesday night. Twelve homes sustained severe damage, in a fire that lasted four days and was fanned by unusually strong winds.

In Nataf, a communal village in the Judean Mountains, twelve miles west of Jerusalem and just west of the “green line,” four construction workers were arrested Wednesday for suspicion of negligence that caused a major fire. The four, who’ve been paving a road near Nataf, allegedly started a campfire at night, which spread to the community nearby.

The current count is of 220 separate fires, 189 of them in open areas. Officials estimate that new fires will start on Thursday as well, due to the unusual weather. Israel has approached foreign countries for help in sending firefighting planes and so far received a positive response from Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Romania.

In Haifa, a fire has been spreading toward cars and buildings on Thursday. The fire in Nataf is getting stronger and has reached nearby Neve Ilan. On Thursday morning a new forest fire erupted near the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, and local residents are preparing to evacuate. Route 443 from the Tel Aviv area to Jerusalem has been blocked at Modi’in, in the wake of a fire and was reopened a short time later. Sixty families who have been evacuated from the community of Talmon in Binyamin were allowed to return to their homes after the fire there had been brought under control. In Gilon, a communal settlement in west of Karmiel in northern Israel that has been evacuated, firefighters reached partial control over the fire. And the fire at an evacuated IDF outpost outside Naveh Yair was brought under control. A soldier is suspected of causing that fire by throwing a burning cigarette on the ground.

David Israel

ATM Bonanza in Israeli Arab Town: Ask for Shekels, Get Dollars [video]

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Customers who used the ATM machine at the Bank Leumi branch in Kafr Qara, an Arab town some 22 miles southeast of Haifa, were stunned to realize they were receiving the amount they punched in, except in US dollars, or, based on today’s exchange value, 3.87 times the amount they asked for. News of the unexpected bonanza spread fast and wide and dozens of local residents raided the ATM nook – to each be rewarded handsomely in Uncle Sam issue greenbacks (well, not really greenbacks, as those stopped being issued after the Civil War, but buck nonetheless).

TV journalist Madi Zayed reported the joyous celebration that erupted, as the locals pushed through the waiting line to try their luck with the Bank Leumi Cornucopia. Some hesitated, arguing that in the end their accounts would be charged the full amount anyway, but most just treated the miracle as miracles should be treated – they stuck their cards in the slot and punched the keys.

A local named Ziad was among the first to discover the unusual ATM machine. “I stopped to withdraw 200 shekels to gas up my vehicle at the end of the work day,” he told Zayed. “I entered my card and punched 200, and suddenly I’m getting four $50 bills”

At some point an alarm broke out, the branch manager showed up and called the police. A patrol car arrived and the cops ordered the customers to stay away from the ATM until the manager disabled it. At this point it is still unclear whether the bank would charge its customers the full dollar amount.

David Israel

Israeli Scientists Develop ‘Barcode’ Diagnostic to Tailor Cancer Treatment

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Scientist at the Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa has developed a new diagnostic technology that helps tailor cancer treatment to the individual patient, before the treatment begins.

The findings of the study, led by Assistant Professor Avi Schroeder of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and the school’s Integrated Cancer Center, were published this past week in the journal, Nature Communications.

Assisted by doctoral student Zvi Ya’ari and other researchers, Prof. Schroeder and the team packed tiny amounts of anti-cancer medications inside dedicated nanoparticles which they developed.

The uniquely-designed nano-scale anti-cancer packages are able to travel through a person’s veins straight to a malignant tumor and then be swallowed by a tumor. Synthetic DNA sequences which are attached to anti-cancer drugs serve as “barcode readers” for the activity of each drug within the cancer cell.

After 48 hours, a biopsy of the tumor is extracted, and the “barcode analysis” then provides accurate information about which cells were, and were not, destroyed by each drug.

The study was based on experiments in mice affected with triple negative breast cancer. The researchers also used placebo packages that did not contain anti-cancer drugs as well. The researchers found that biopsies with anti-cancer drugs contained mostly dead cancer cells — the anti-cancer nanopackages had killed them — and the placebo nanopackages in the biopsies were found in live tumor cells. A comparison was also carried out between the various anti-cancer medications to determine the effectiveness of each.

“This technology provides a new window into fundamental insights about the mechanisms of cancer and resistance to various drugs,” Prof. Schroeder told the American Technion Society, “but my thoughts are also practical: how our research could help people.

“I am thrilled by the current success. It will take a lot more work to turn our development into a product that is available to the public, but I believe we’ll see it at the clinic within a few years.”

Hana Levi Julian

‘Someday This Will Be a Peace Train’

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu predicted Tuesday that someday the Haifa-Beit She’an railway line would be “a peace train.”

Speaking at the dedication of the new line at the railway station in Afula, Netanyahu said that he’s looked at the Jordan bridges and the Yarmouk bridges in his travels on the job.

He said it was a good day, also because “Today, we blocked an attempt by the Palestinians to join INTERPOL as a member. It was a difficult effort, but it produced results. It reflects what I have been telling you is happening, which is a change in Israel’s international standing and an expansion of our ties with different countries,” he said.

Netanyahu warned, however, that there would be “other attempts now, especially at the Security Council, and I hope we can block them.” Nevertheless, he said Israel is “bursting onto the global scene” and he maintained the phenomenon would ultimately be reflected in all United Nations and international bodies.

“So we have a past, we have a vibrant present and we will also have a future,” he said.

“I believe some day this train will be a peace train,” he said. “I know that is not what they’re saying around us today. But we have a peace agreement with the Kingdom of Jordan, and these goods, which already pass from the port of Haifa to Beit She’an, can easily reach the Jordan bridges, be connected to transportation arteries, including trains, and create a new future.

“It will not happen in a day or two,” he continued, “ but it could take a year, two years, or a little longer. I believe it,” Netanyahu said. “I believe it can give us hope, it can give us the fruits of peace, not only for us, but for our neighbors as well.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/someday-this-will-be-a-peace-train/2016/11/08/

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