Thousands evacuated as fires continue to rage and spread across Israel

Fires ongoing since Tuesday, spreads to Haifa Thursday; Arab-Israeli arson main continued cause of fires; Greece, Croatia and Russia send firefighting planes

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Israel continues to be affected by massive fires that continue to spread, thousands of Israelis made to evacuate their homes Wednesday and Thursday.

There have been over 250 fires since earlier this week, with 90% of the fires arson attacks fueled by Arab-Israelis. The fires are raging due to dry weather and heat waves over the past few weeks.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan stated on Thursday morning that over 50% of the fires have been caused by repeated arson, stating “I know for a fact that they tried to set fire to the department’s station in Haifa deliberately to cause the Haifa fire department to be paralyzed.”

The fires broke out in the northern town of Zikron Yaakov earlier in the week, spreading Thursday morning into the city of Haifa, where 11 neighborhoods including thousands of residents have now been evacuating. A reported 36 were injured on Thursday as the IDF Home Front Command and reservists assists Magen David Adom in combatting the fires.

Prime Minister Netanyahu called on both Greece and Croatia to assist in fighting the wildfires through out Israel, both states sending firefighter aircraft on Thursday morning. They also sent a team of 50 to assist on the ground.

The Prime Minister also reached out to Russian President Vladimir Putin who approved sending two Be-200 planes to assist in aerial support.

Turkey sent a firefighting planes on Thursday morning, the planes seen over the city of Haifa earlier today.

Arab media has taken to celebrating the fires, the hashtag “Israel is burning” trending through social media.

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