Photo Credit: courtesy, Bitachon Shaar HaNegev
Fire near Karmiya

Dozens of families left homeless Thursday by the wildfires that raged through the communities of Mevo Modiin and Kibbutz Harel will receive immediate emergency assistance from the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Jewish Federations of North America.

A special fund will help the families cover their immediate needs – such as clothes and personal belongings – in coordination with assistance from local authorities.

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Each family will receive the equivalent of approximately $1,000, according to Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog, who said in a statement the assistance will be distributed in the next few days.

“We especially feel the strength of Jewish solidarity at times like these, when dozens of Israeli families coping with the shock of losing their home and property receive an immediate embrace from their sisters and brothers across the ocean,” Herzog said.

“The Jewish Agency will be there to support these families in any way possible, together with our Jewish family in the Diaspora.”

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin thanked the commissioner of the Fire and Rescue Services Friday for the service of all the firefighters and first responders during the continued fires that broke out across the country due to the massive heat wave that struck the country.

“I thank the firefighters on behalf of all the people for their deep devotion and commitment,” Rivlin said. “We have seen events of this kind in development countries and there are usually casualties or loss of life.”

Most of the fires were under control by Friday night, with the exception of a blaze in the Jordan Valley and a few areas in the country that were still blocked off to the public.

Three Jerusalem Arab residents were arrested on suspicion of arson during the day on Friday, and incendiary terror balloons were also cited as the cause for some of the fires in southern Israel. Electrical faults, brush fires and inadequately extinguished Lag B’Omer holiday bonfires were named as other causes.

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