TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that there was “evidence of arson” relating to the wildfires sweeping across Israel.
“Our first goal is saving lives and I ask residents to do exactly what the authorities ask of them. Our second goal is putting out the fires,” Netanyahu said after visiting the Fire and Rescue Service coastal district forward command center.
“There is also some evidence of arson,” the prime minister said, but did not explain further.
Homes were destroyed, highways were shut down and mass evacuations were ordered as a result of wildfires in different locations across the country over the last 48 hours. Fires were put out in Zichron Yaakov in the country’s north and in Gilon, with some of the evacuees being able to return home.
However strong winds and dry conditions sparked more fires in the center of the country around Modiin, the hills surrounding Jerusalem and in the north around Haifa on Thursday morning.
A fire inspector reaffirmed the prime minister’s suspicions that several of the fires may have been arson.