Two Israeli-Arab teenagers were arrested for attempting to spread the Carmel fire as the fire still raged, police revealed Wednesday. The two, residents of Nazareth ages 14 and 15, are accused of setting fires in the Ilut forest.
The two young arsonists set a fire in Ilut on Friday, then fled from the scene. The fire caused significant damage, and forced firefighters to abandon their efforts fighting the Carmel fire in order to battle the blaze in Ilut.
The two were arrested on Monday. They were taken to court Wednesday for an extension of their remand.
Several smaller fires broke out as rescue workers battled the Carmel fire, and police suspect a coordinated arson effort. Fires were reported near Basmat Tivon, Usafiya, and the northern border.
A 14-year-old from the Carmel region confessed to starting the fire that killed 43 people and left several others in serious condition. The boy said he accidently set fire to brush when he threw away hot coals from his nargilah (water pipe). When he saw the fire, he said, he was frightened and ran away, and did not report the blaze.