Arson suspected in several Israeli fires


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A fire that broke out near the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh and consumed nearly 750 acres was among several major blazes to hit Israel.

Police reportedly said that arsonists could be to blame for Tuesday’s blaze, which required 21 fire crews and three aircraft to suppress. Five homes were damaged, and four firefighters suffered smoke inhalation that required medical attention.

A large fire also broke out in central Israel near Ben Gurion Airport that needed eight fire crews to extinguish.

Arson is suspected as well in large fires in Carmel Park in the North. Six Haifa crews brought the fires under control.

Also in the North, seven crews and an aircraft were needed to put out a fire near Karmiel that consumed more than 12 acres.

Several other large fires were reported across the country, including in Modi’in Illit, Rishon Lezion and Safed.

An extended summer heat wave has helped fuel the blazes.

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