Daily Israel Report

Arab Teens Greet Firefighters with Rocks

Firefighters who doused the flames of a major fire in the Golan Heights early Wednesday were 'thanked' with an Arab rock attack.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 8/24/2011, 1:39 PM

 (archive) Fighting the fire
(archive) Fighting the fire
Tatzpit

Two Arab youths were arrested Wednesday morning for hurling rocks at a fire engine overnight in the northern village of Jisr a-Zarka.

Firefighters fended off the two youths, ages 15 and 16, by firing shots in the air to scare them off.

Police who were later called to the scene questioned the firefighters prior to arresting the teens.

The event took place against the backdrop of a major blaze that consumed thousands of dunams and other green areas in the Golan Heights at around the same time.

Firefighters battled the flames for hours. 

The fire, which broke out Tuesday morning, also threatened homes in the northern community of Kibbutz Mevo Hama. Local residents came out overnight to help firefighters battle the flames which came extremely close to their homes during the night.

An additional risk that endangered both firefighting personnel and residents around the area occurred when the flames threatened to engulf a known minefield.

Firefighting planes eventually helped bring the blaze under control. Kibbutz members were asked to remain inside Wednesday morning due to heavy smoke in the area. 

Last year a tragic inferno swept through the Carmel Mountains, killing 44 people and scorching tens of thousands of dunams of land. Numerous communities were evacuated and hundreds of people were left homeless as a result of the blaze.

The international community pitched in to help Israel with firefighting planes, since the Jewish State had none of its own. As a result of that tragedy, the government ordered a squadron of the aircraft that were used Wednesday to douse the flames near Kibbutz Mevo Hama.