Palestinian teens suspected as 12 IDF soldiers injured in brush fire (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Oz Rosenberg 06/18/12)
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Twelve Israel Defense Forces soldiers from the Home Front Command
were lightly injured and one suffered moderate injuries from smoke
inhalation during a brush fire that broke out on Sunday near the
Ofrit Base on Jerusalem´s Mount Scopus.
Police suspect Palestinian youths set the fire alight by throwing
firecrackers at the base. The firecrackers fell into a thicket around
the base´s perimeter fence and - given Sunday´s heat in Jerusalem,
where temperatures peaked at 38 degrees Celsius - a fire started
Six firefighting teams were called to the site and, working with the
base´s duty squad, they managed to bring the fire under control in a
relatively short time.
The injured were brought by ambulance to various Jerusalem hospitals.
This was the latest of several brush fires that have been occuring in
and around Jerusalem over the past two weeks. According to
Jerusalem´s Fire and Rescue Service, since the beginning of the month
there have been 284 fires in brush and open areas alone.
"I assume if we would include all the incidents in the forests or
orchards the number would be even higher," said Asaf Abras of the
Jerusalem Fire and Rescue Service.
He said that, unlike Sunday´s fire, most of the blazes have been in
south Jerusalem near the triangle of the Arnona, Armon Hanatziv and
Har Homa neighborhoods.
The most intensive day was last Thursday, when one numerous fires
were reported within five hours.
"These events are happening one after the other and within a short
distance of each other. This means there´s a good chance we´re
talking about deliberate arson," Abras said.
Last week two boys aged 13 and 14 were arrested on suspicion of
causing at least some of the fires. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz
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