Israeli Arabs arrested for trying to spread Carmel fire

Thursday, December 09, 2010 |  Ryan Jones

Two teenage Israeli Arabs from Nazareth were arrested this week after they were caught trying to spread the devastating wildfire that consumed much of the Carmel forest reserve and killed 43 people.

As all of Israel’s 1,500 firefighters and 192 foreign firefighters were battling the Carmel blaze, the two youths set another fire in the Ilut forest near Nazareth. A number of firefighters had to be pulled off the Carmel fire to put out the Ilut fire, which reportedly caused considerable damage.

Officials said a number of small fires were started at the same time in northern Israel last Friday, one day after the Carmel fire started, suggesting a coordinated effort to expand the blaze and overwhelm Israel’s firefighting and security forces.

During the four days it took to put out the Carmel fire more than 20 other fires were started around the country, most of them acts of arson.

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