9,000 dunams burned in Israel riots

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9,000 dunams burned in riots

By Mazal Mualem Ha'aretz Correspondent

Some 9,000 dunams of forest were burned in acts of nationally-motivated arson during the recent wave of violence, the head of the firefighting commission said yesterday.

The firefighting forces in the north were significantly beefed up yesterday in fear that the fires would spread if the weather forecast, predicting dry conditions and easterly winds, holds true.

In a report submitted yesterday to Interior Minister Haim Ramon, chief firefighter Moshe Vardi outlined the widespread use of arson by Arab Israelis during the recent clashes. More than 200 incidents of arson were registered during the rioting, ranging from burning tires to setting fire to public buildings and forests. Vardi noted that in several cases, the firefighting forces were unable to reach the fires to extinguish them because the areas had been closed off by security forces.

Some of the biggest fires destroyed forests in the Jezreel Valley - near Iron and Kabri - and pasture lands around Gamla.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 06, 2000

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