Restoring nature reserve will take years

Jerusalem court extends remand of two Arabs suspected of involvement in burning Einot Tzukim reserve near Dead Sea.

Mordechai Sones,

Two Arabs suspected of intentionally causing Einot Tzukim fire
Two Arabs suspected of intentionally causing Einot Tzukim fire
Flash 90

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court extended the detention of two of the suspected arsonists who torched the Einot Tzukim Nature Reserve (Ein Feshcha) near the Dead Sea.

The third suspect, an Arab of el-Azariya, will be brought to the Ofer Military Court for a remand hearing tomorrow morning.

One of the suspects in the arson incident denied in his police investigation that he maliciously caused the fire, as well as denying any nationalist motive. The suspect, a 19-year-old from East Jerusalem, said he and his friends were stuck without fuel on their way back to Jerusalem from Ein Gedi. According to him, friends who were traveling in another car supplied them with fuel. After finishing using the container, they claim threw it to the side of the road. He added it is possible a cigarette thrown by someone else caused the fire.

Einot Tzukim
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Between 300 and 400 dunams of unique vegetation were burned at the Einot Tzukim reserve, the world's lowest nature reserve, and animals were also killed in the fire. The Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority said rehabilitation will take years.

The fire lasted for a few hours and led to closing Route 90 between Kalia junction and Metzuki Dargot junction. Sixteen firefighting teams and four aircraft acted to stop the fire's progress.

Einot Tzukim
Flash 90
Two Arabs suspected of intentionally causing Einot Tzukim fire
Flash 90

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