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IBA Website Whitewashes Terror Arson?

Arab terrorists appear to be burning Israel acre by acre, but government-sponsored radio website runs a misleading headline.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/10/2012, 3:26 PM

Explosion (illustrative)
Explosion (illustrative)
Flash 90

Numerous fires have been burning all summer throughout Israel, and police as well as fire fighting officials have come out openly and said that they believe the fires were set by Arab arsonists.

However, parts of the Israeli press, which is heavily influenced by extreme leftists, continue to hide this incendiary truth from the public, thus assisting in covering up the crimes and aiding the arsonists.

The latest example of this tendency was exhibited Friday by the Israel Broadcasting Authority website, which belongs to Voice of Israel government-sponsored radio. The main headline at 3:00 p.m. Friday was: "Shachar Ayalon: the Fires are not the Result of Arson."

Shachar Ayalon is Commissioner of Firefighting and Rescue, and is in command of the nation's firefighting forces. Therefore, a declaration by him, quoted on an official government-sponsored website, that the fires were not started by arsonists, is one that carries the weight of authority

Upon reading the text of the report, however, one realizes that Ayalon said no such thing. The text says: "Commissioner of Firefighting and Rescue Shachar Ayalon says that as of now there is no clear proof that the fires in recent days originated in arson, and that one must be careful in pointing the finger of blame at a certain sector. If these are indeed arson attacks, the security forces will know how to act."

Upon listening to the entire interview with Ayalon, one hears that he warned against automatically blaming the fires on terrorism, but certainly did not rule out terror as the cause. Ayalon said that of three large fires in the Jerusalem area last month, one was found to have been started by terrorists from the village of Katana who used firebombs, the second by careless workers at a construction site and the third by a negligent local resident.

Ayalon said that if the fires are the result of terror, he is confident that the Shin Bet and police will be able to locate the perpetrators.

Hagai Dotan, the commander of the Coastal District of the Israeli Police, ordered on Thursday evening the establishment of a special investigative unit to look into the circumstances surrounding the recent fires.

Dotan said that the fires, which have raged in several areas in Israel in recent days, are a new form of terrorism.

“The suspicion now is that the arson was nationalistically motivated,” he said. “We have no intelligence to support that, but if you look at the entire country, we see arson in Tivon, in Jerusalem and in Beit Shemesh – such a sequence of fires cannot be coincidental.”

Other police and fire fighting officials have made similar assessments.

The IsraelDefense website reported in June that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has called on its supporters to wage a "fire jihad." The group's English language website, "Inspire," stressed that setting fires to forests is a method of warfare permitted by Islam. The website gives instructions for preparation of firebombs specifically meant for forest arson.