Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

8 Sivan 5761 - May 30, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Many Fires Started Erev Shavuos
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Several fires burst out in the Yerushalayim area on Sunday erev Shavuos, as well as near Beit Shemesh, near the Jordan River, in the Golan Heights and in the Sharon region. The weather was extraordinarily hot and may have been the cause of some of the blazes, but some fires are suspected arson.

Fires destroyed about 2,500 dunams of forests and groves around Yerushalayim, including agricultural fields cultivated by residents of two moshavim, Tzalfon and Kfar Uriyah.

The worst fire erupted Sunday afternoon close to Ein Mata, a spring in the Jerusalem Hills located below Moshav Mata, east of Beit Shemesh. Sharp winds fanned the fire westward - flames licked hilly ridges, and spread dangerously close to electricity supply lines which serve Jerusalem and outlying areas. Highway 375 leading to Tzur Hadassah was closed to traffic on Sunday.

Though fire-fighters thought that they had the Mata blaze under control by Sunday evening, the fire re-lit on Monday, and spread close to Moshav Mata.

A fire reached Lifta on the outskirts of the city before firefighters beat it back. Golda Meir Boulevard was closed to traffic for several hours.

Another major fire broke out at agricultural fields near the Nachshon junction about 10 miles west of Beit Shemesh, and residents from two local moshav communities were evacuated repeatedly on Sunday and Monday.

During the firefighting operation Beit Shemesh police arrested two Bedouin brothers on suspicion of arson. The two said they had been brewing coffee when their campfire went out of control.

Monday night firefighters continued to douse flames at a few sites in the country as they re-ignited under strong winds as the heat-wave broke.

In the north, three major blazes flared in Jordan River forests and Golan Heights areas. One fire spread on Sunday through dozens of dunams in Park Hayarden in the Golan Heights. Dozens of families on vacation in the region were warned of the danger and left.

Two other fires broke out Sunday afternoon in the Sharon region, in the Matan area and near Kochav Yair (where former prime minister Ehud Barak lives), and continued on Monday.


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