TEL AVIV (Feb. 5)
Fire gutted the basement of the Haaretz newspaper’s editorial offices and printing presses here last night. Police and fire fighters said the blaze appeared to have been set by an arsonist, but they have not yet completed their investigation. The fire destroyed most of the paper’s newsprint stocks stored in the basement.
Haaretz management said most of the damage was due to the large amount of water poured onto the blaze. The water and fire together destroyed the electric wiring, putting the paper’s communications equipmert out of commission. The paper published a smaller edition this morning, printing it on another press borrowed from a nearby weekly newspaper. A similar fire was set by arsonists at the Haaretz plant in 1976.