That doesn’t mean all of the fires were set deliberately, but it does mean that there were enough to merit the notion of “arsonist terror.”
The unprecedented devastation left behind by the fires—over 700 homes damaged or destroyed and a large part of one Jewish settlement virtually wiped out—demonstrates the power of the humble match box. Those in Israel who follow the history of nationalistically-motivated arson know that for many decades Arabs have used fire as a weapon against the Jewish nation.
Arson attacks have occurred time and again since at least the 1920s, with Israel’s governments routinely failing to deal effectively with the phenomenon. It is only the magnitude of the 2016 fires that has literally forced Israel to publicly acknowledge a well-known problem.
Back in 2008, Colonel (Reserves) Jonathan Fighel outlined what he dubbed “The Forest Jihad” at the annual gathering of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya. Fighel’s presentation coincided...
Become a Member
Read all member content
Get exclusive in-depth reports from Israel.
Get exclusive in-depth reports from Israel
Connect with Israel, right from your home.
Lift up the voice of truth and hope
Support Jerusalem-based Zionist journalism.
Already a member? Login here.