The fire set by Arabs, 25.7.11
The fire set by Arabs, 25.7.11Arutz Sheva: Tatzpit photo

Palestinian Authority terrorists are reverting to the first Intifada tactic of burning down Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Arabs have set more than 20 fires in Jewish communities, mostly outposts, the past several weeks, which have forced the evacuation of residents.

Police investigations have determined that the blazes were intentional, and tracks have led them Arab villages nearby the Jewish communities. Six Arab suspects have been arrested.

In the first Intifada in the late 1980s, Arabs frequently set fires, often on the Sabbath.

Some Israeli Arabs profited by their being employed by the Jewish National Fund.

One example was a Friday night blaze that burned down several acres of nature reserve near Kibbutz Maaleh Gilboa, situated between Beit She’an in the Jordan Valley and within the 1949 Armistice Lines. The same Arabs workers for the JNF who were paid for planting the trees also were paid for extinguishing the fires.

Relatives or friends of the same Arabs, who lived in an Arab village a few hundred feet from the kibbutz and beyond the 1949 borders, set the reserve on fire, and Arabs from other villages used the same method in dozens of other incidents.

The renewed arson intifada causes more widespread damage than the usual life-endangering rock-throwing, particularly in the summer when forests are dry and afternoon winds quickly whip up a small fire into an inferno. It, too, can put lives in danger.

Mitzpeh Danny, located in Samaria, has suffered seven fires in the past and nearby communities have had to evacuate its residents, including toddlers, because of the threat that purposely set fires would reach their homes,

An IDF Samaria commander termed the arsons as a “new weapon” but it in fact proved to be successful 20 years ago until the 'trend' in Arab violence gave way to suicide bombings.