Firefighters battle blaze near Beit Shemesh (archive)
Firefighters battle blaze near Beit Shemesh (archive) Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

An investigation into the recent wave of fires in Israel suggests that hundreds of blazes were sparked intentionally, the work of Arab arsonists operating in the greater Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh areas.

According to a report by Channel 11 Tuesday night, hundreds of fires in the vicinity of the capital and in the Jerusalem corridor area – including around Beit Shemesh – were the result of arson, though most were quickly extinguished and did little to no damage.

A handful of the fires which were intentionally sparked, however, managed to cause heavy damage, aided by the unusually hot weather and heavy winds.

Last week, Jerusalem police arrested three arsonists suspected of setting fires around the capital.

The three were identified as Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem, ages 30, 19, and 15.

Each of the two teenage suspects is believed to have sparked at least one fire in the Mount Scopus area of the capital, where the Hadassah hospital and Hebrew University are located in part.

The 30-year-old suspect is believed to have sparked a fire in the Kidron Valley area of the capital.

Fires blazed in the Jerusalem district Tuesday, including one near Lifta, on the western edge of the city, and another near the town of Even Sapir, on the western outskirts of Jerusalem.

השריפה באזור אבן ספיר כבאות והצלה לישראל-מחוז י-ם