Haifa Wildfire Rages Across Israel, Thousands Flee the City

Prime Minister Says Any Proof of Arson Will Be Dealt with Retribution


Thousands of Israelis are fleeing the city of Haifa after out of control wildfire is causing massive destruction. Amid the chaos, Prime Minister Netanyahu has declared that those responsible for the fires will pay severely and any evidence of arson will be dealt with full legal force. The fires are spreading because of the drought induced dry condition which had prevailed over the area in the last two months. Also, strong winds are spreading the fire at an alarming rate.

“We are facing arsonist terror. In front of arsonist terror we are also facing incitement and also arson. For us they are the same. And we will bring our full legal force to get those responsible,” he said.

“It’s a crime in every possible way and for us, it is also terror in every possible way. People can get burnt. It has already happened.”

Thousands Already Evacuated:

The deadly smoke which rose because of the fire forced authorities to order evacuation of about 80,000 people. Several homes and buildings have been damaged beyond repair and on Thursday, the main highway between Haifa and Tel Aviv was shut down for a brief time as authorities tried to put out the flames.

It is reported that Israeli authorities arrested four Israeli Palestinians but a judge later let them off as there was no convincing evidence to prove that the fires were caused by them. Other neighboring countries including Turkey has offered assistance as strong winds are forecast for the next few days.

With inputs from Reuters

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