Israel is on fire: every other week this summer sees at least one major fire, and small ones occur daily. It is general knowledge, though rarely admitted by authorities or most news sources, that Israeli Arabs are the ones lighting most of the fires out of nationalist motives.
Today (Thursday) the fire has been burning on the southern slopes of the Carmel mountain, not far from Neveh Sha'anan. The residents of two buildings in Salomon Street were evacuated from their homes because of the heavy smoke that filled the air there, and numerous roads were blocked to traffic, including Salomon street, HaTish'a, Netiv Chen, Hazan, and a section of Dori street.
The fire was reported under control by the afternoon.
Twenty fire trucks and two fire fighting planes took part in the efforts to bring the flames under control.
There were reports the fire was spreading from multiple foci, in a telltale sign of coordinated arson.
Eleven days ago, six firefighting aircraft and at least 21 crews of firefighters were needed to control a wildfire that began near the Ein Hemed national park outside of Jerusalem and quickly spread in the sweltering heat.
At least two people were treated for light injuries from smoke inhalation, and one firefighter was hurt when he fell from a ladder. Two roads were closed off to traffic.
Four weeks ago, a major fire near the western entrance to Jerusalem at Motza closed down the Jerusalem Tel Aviv highway for several hours. Multiple foci were reported.
Major General Niso Shaham, the (now suspended) Commander of the Jerusalem Police, said that day that he "would not fall off [his] chair" if the fire turned out to be a case of arson. In response to a Channel 2 reporter's question, Shaham affirmed that there is currently a plethora of arson attacks in the environs of Jerusalem.
The reporter said that fire fighters told him that there were several incidents of arson every day in the Jerusalem area, and Shaham did not deny this.
The huge Carmel Forest fire in 2010 claimed the lives of 44 people – most of whom were Prisons Service cadets whose bus was caught in the flames. That fire was supposedly set by mistake by two Druze youths from the village of Daliat el Karmel. The police case against them was eventually closed.
However, Israelis are experienced at government and media cover-ups of subjects that might create rage against the Arab populace, and many believe that that fire, too, was intentionally set. In any case, it is known that there were numerous secondary fires lit as the blaze raged, in an attempt to intensify the damage.