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Evidence Growing That Arson Caused Jerusalem Wildfires
Heavy smoke and flames rise from a forest fire in the Jerusalem hills near the Israeli village of Shoresh, on Aug. 15, 2021. (Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images)

Evidence Growing That Arson Caused Jerusalem Wildfires

Evidence is growing that the wildfires that consumed thousands of acres of woodland outside of Jerusalem were caused by arson, Israel’s public broadcaster reported Thursday evening, citing fire investigators. The fires were mostly brought under control on Wednesday, allowing most residents of several towns on the outskirts of Jerusalem who had been evacuated from their homes to return.

The Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet security is working with police in its investigation into the fire, which reportedly was started in more than one location and in areas where few people hike.

Over 6,000 acres of woodland were burned in the conflagration. Hot temperatures and high winds contributed to the spread of the fires. A dozen firefighting planes and helicopters and some some 70 firefighting teams from Jerusalem and neighboring communities were joined by Palestinian firefighters and Israel’s Air Force to battle the blaze.

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