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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem Hills’

Cabinet Holds Special Meeting in Fire Plagued Haifa

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assembled his cabinet on Sunday morning in Haifa, the Israeli city that has suffered more than any other large urban center in the week of blazes, both the natural and the man made kind. The prime minister said: “First, I would like to commend the IDF soldiers who, this morning, successfully repelled an attack against in the border triangle area (where Israel, Lebanon and Syria meet). We are well prepared on our northern border and we will not allow any ISIS or other hostile elements, under cover of the war in Syria, to establish themselves adjacent to our borders.

“En route here this morning I spoke with Rama Ben-Tzvi; her and her husband’s restaurant in the Jerusalem hills was completely burnt. I think that we all know how much love they have invested in this, their life’s work, for 20 years, and in an instant, it went up in flames. The fire there and in other places burned property, it burned objects replete with memories, it even burned animals in some places, but to our joy, this time we were well-prepared and it did not burn lives; we saved lives. I told Rama that we would help her rebuild her restaurant forthwith. The Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office has already spoken to her. This, in effect, is our message to all Israeli citizens whose homes and property were hit by the fires: We will help you rebuild your homes and your lives forthwith and this is the main goal of this special Cabinet meeting this morning in Haifa.

“We have come to Haifa and we have invited council heads from across the north whose communities were affected by the fires in order to give them clear message: All government ministries are committed to extending a hand to you quickly, to shorten the bureaucracy, and I say to brutally shorten the bureaucracy, to bring you assistance, relief and rebuilding as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will do everything necessary to maintain your remaining property.

“Immediately upon concluding my remarks, I will ask my fellow ministers – the ministers of Public Security, Finance and Interior – who, I must say, from the outset, have worked tirelessly in the field, to report on their ministries’ activities.

“Later, I will ask the other ministers to do so. Of course, we will be measured by results and not by processes, by deeds and not words. We will be measured by results. The event is still not over. There are reports now of a fire in the Zichron area and several other locales, that seem as if they are rekindling. We are working on all fronts, including law enforcement. Whoever starts a fire, either by malice or negligence, whoever incites to arson – we will act against them with full force.

“There is no doubt that thanks to the courage of the firefighters, the pilots from Israel and abroad, and to the determined response of the Israel Police, MDA, IDF, Home front Command and the other rescue forces, the local councils represented here and the extraordinary spirit shown by Israeli citizens – thanks to all these, we achieved impressive control of the fires which, to a certain extent, were much more complicated and much more difficult than the Carmel fire.

“On Friday, I received a meteorological report, which indicated difficult conditions vis-à-vis dryness and the weather, the combination of temperatures and the wind and continued dryness, it was 30% more difficult than the conditions that prevailed during the Carmel fire. Along with all the government ministers here, I salute all those who took part in dealing with this crisis, in extinguishing the fires, and in guarding life and property. We have built an impressive ability to fight fires on the ground and from the air and it proved itself. I do not want to imagine what might have happened if we hadn’t built this ability.

“I would like to thank the many governments who sent assistance in the form of firefighting aircraft, pilots and firefighters and I would like to thank the personnel at the Foreign Ministry and the National Security Council and especially you, Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Zeev Tzuk-Tam who supervised very impressive international coordination. It is not simple to bring here so many elements, pilots, planes and materials from so many countries.

“Against the mighty forces of nature, countries worked together and the principle that has guided me and the government was – better over-ability than the risk of under-ability.

“During the events, I personally visited several centers of the fires and I already instructed that a team be established to learn lessons so that we will be even better prepared in the future. I am initiating the establishment of a multi-national force that will be coordinated not just for action in time of disaster, but also to acquire planes and allocate the acquisition of various types of planes so that we might thereby achieve multi-national effectiveness, and not just national effectiveness, in dealing with gigantic fires. I have spoken about this with several leaders from the region. I must say that they have shown great interest in the idea and we will advance it.”

Jewish Press Staff

US SuperTanker Arrives as List of PyroTerror Arrests Grows

Friday, November 25th, 2016

The Boeing 747 SuperTanker from Colorado Springs arrived in Israel Friday evening, prior to the start of the Sabbath in New York, to help extinguish the flames raging across the Jewish State.

The SuperTanker in the largest firefighting aerial aircraft in the world and is capable of continuing to battle flames even after dark, while carrying up to 19,600 gallons of water or fire retardant. It also produces enough pressure to create eight rounds of a rain-like environment in fighting any blaze. Along with the SuperTanker, the United States has said it is sending 50 firefighters to Israel to help battle the flames.

Planes arrived and were on the way from numerous other nations as well, with Russian sending several, several times over.

The local municipality in Haifa has video evidence that the fire which ignited near the main fire depot in the port city was set deliberately, a spokesperson for the Haifa Fire Department announced Friday.

Spokesperson Uri Chibotaro told Israel’s Channel 2 television news the city has video evidence that proves the cause of the fire.

Chibotaro’s statement was backed up by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who told Israel Radio in a separate interview that the blaze in Haifa — which sent some 75,000 residents of the city and its surrounds fleeing from their homes — there was proof indeed that the fire was an “intentional act of arson.”

At least 15 people are being held and are under investigation so far for allegations of arson and incitement to pyroterrorism, including six held in connection with the Haifa fire.

But at least two fire trucks were sent by the Palestinian Authority to help fight fires in Haifa, including those that reignited Friday due to the continued high winds. Palestinian Authority firefighting crews also worked together Friday morning with their Israeli counterparts to put out a fire in Sha’ar Haggai in the Jerusalem Hills.

In addition, Egypt has said it is sending two firefighting helicopters and Jordan has pledged several fire trucks to help its neighbor in the battle against the flames. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted all offers.

At least 700 homes were damaged and around 37 were totally destroyed in Haifa. By early Friday afternoon all Haifa residents were allowed to return home, with the exception of those living in 13 buildings too dangerous to enter.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan had told reporters earlier in the day the findings of an investigation into the conflagration in the northern town of Zichron Ya’akov indicated that blaze, too, was caused by pyroterrorists.

Eyewitnesses also spotted Arab suspects igniting a fire in the forest near Beit Meir as firefighters were battling the towering blaze that had already started on the outskirts of the community. At least 10 homes in the moshav were later destroyed overnight by that fire and more were damaged, but police managed to catch the suspect who was seen nearby in the Jerusalem hills.

High levels of air pollution and asbestos particles were found in at least six locations Friday morning in Beit Meir in testing by the Environmental Protection Ministry, following the fire. Sha’ar Haggai is not far.

Friday afternoon a fire also broke out in the small northern moshav of Ya’ad, located about 300 meters north of the Jewish community of Yitzhar. In Ya’ad, residents were evacuated as a precaution.

Firefighters battled a blaze near Yitzhar with two aerial firefighter aircraft as three fire trucks created a safety perimeter around the community, since access to Yitzhar is difficult at best. It was not yet clear how that fire got started.

Residents in the Galilee town of Harashim were also evacuated Friday morning due to an outbreak of fire, which was fought from the sky by aerial firefighting aircraft, and by 15 firefighting teams on the ground.

Hana Levi Julian

#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

Firefighters Get Control Over Jerusalem-Area Forest Fires Near Beit Shemesh, Givat HaMatos

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Firefighters were once again faced with flames in the forests around Jerusalem as the temperatures soared and dry air created a tinderbox among the trees.

A team of four firefighters managed to get control of a forest fire in Horesh, in the area of Givat HaMatos, according to local officials by around 2 pm Tuesday afternoon.

There was a serious concern the blaze would reach buildings located in the area; as a result, people living in nearby caravans temporarily evacuated their homes.

Likewise, a similar firefighting team of four was deployed to the forested hills surrounding the area near the southwestern Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh.

The flames had reached an abandoned forest, but firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control, said Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson Udi Gal.

No injuries were reported from either site.

Hana Levi Julian

Video: Iron Dome Intercepts 2 Missiles Over Jerusalem Hills

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

A Code Red siren sent residents in the western suburbs of Jerusalem scrambling for the bomb shelters Sunday night.

Residents in the communities of Aminadav, Kiryat Yearim, Telz, Abu Ghosh, Tzur Hadassah and surrounds all heard the siren wailing through the Jerusalem Hills — and the loud ‘boom!’ that followed.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted at least two missiles over the western Jerusalem hills. An alert photographer with the 0404 website caught the interception on video (even though he probably should have been in a shelter himself!)

Although such missile attacks are still being aimed at the capital and at central Israel in general, they are not being launched as often, or in barrages nearly as intense as they were several weeks ago. IDF officials and other military analysts speculate that Hamas may be draining its arsenal of long-range ordnance.

A short while after Sunday night’s attack, the IDF targeted the rocket launcher that fired at Jerusalem. “A hit was confirmed,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.

From midnight to 11 pm Sunday night, more than 130 rockets and missiles were fired at Israel, according to the IDF. This makes a total of 726 rockets and missiles launched at Israel since Hamas ended the cease-fire with its violation eight hours before reaching the deadline for the temporary truce to end.

Our thanks to photographer Aharon Yerushalayim and the 0404 website for the great footage, and to the Iron Dome crew for the great aim!

Hana Levi Julian

PA Archaeological Thief Caught Red-Handed Digging Up Artifacts

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Israel’s Antiquities Authority IAA) has caught a Palestinian Authority Arab thief red-handed while digging up ancient artifacts in the Jerusalem Hills.

The IAA’s theft-prevention unit told Tazpit News Agency that the robber, from the village of Hussan in Gush Etzion, was caught trying to dig up and steal artifacts at the “Bohan Ruins.”

Earlier the same day, an inspector of the Nature Reserves Authority and the IAA chased away a gang of robbers from the “Toora Ruins” in the Nahal Soreq area, west of Jerusalem. Artifacts from the Second Temple-era of Herod and Hashmonean times are located there, and the thieves caused extensive and irreversible damage to the sites by reckless digging.

Information acquired by the theft detention unit enabled officials to set up a lookout and spot the gang while it was hiding in nearby bush.

During the day, the gang had proceeded on foot to the Bohan Ruins, the location of a village from the Byzantine period and where a church stood as its center. The gang, which had brought along sleeping bags and food, then worked under the cover of dark and at one point reached only a few feet from the theft-prevention unit.

One of the robbers was caught red-handed looking for artifacts with an advanced tool for locating metal objects, particularly ancient coins. The suspect was remanded in a Jerusalem court, and prosecutors are preparing indictments,

Dr. Eitan Klein, deputy director of theft-prevention unit, said, “The gang, in its greed for money, caused damage to a large number of archaeological sites in the Jerusalem Hills, including destruction of pieces of our historic puzzle. The Jerusalem Hills, and Nahal Soreq in particular, are rich in archaeological artifacts that are evidence of varied cultures and the history of Israel, and two of these sites were damaged over the weekend,”

IAA spokesmen also told Tazpit News Agency, that the Antiquities Authority is investing resources to protect the inheritance of the Land of Israel and emphasized that digging in archaeological sites without permission is a serious crime that can land culprits In prison or up to five years.

The IAA said it hopes that the arrest will help put an end to the latest wave of thievery of Israel’s ancient history.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/pa-archaeological-robber-caught-red-handed-digging-up-artifacts/2013/11/17/

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