June 22, 2024

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Fires broke out in northern Israel after cross-border attacks from Lebanon

Fires broke out in northern Israel after cross-border attacks from Lebanon



CNN

Large fires broke out in northern Israel overnight, according to what the Israeli police announced at dawn on Tuesday, and attributed the fires to the launching of rockets from southern Lebanon.

The head of the Tiberias Fire Station, Boris Eisenberg, said that the fire consumed about 4,000 dunams (1,000 acres or 400 hectares) of the northern area. Israeli Fire and Rescue Services said several firefighting teams, including an aerial firefighting squadron, were deployed to work throughout the night.

On Tuesday, Israeli fire and rescue services in the north of the country dealt with two fires. 12 teams were deployed in Keren Naftali, where the fire spread in several directions, while 10 teams were deployed in the Berea Forest in the Upper Galilee region, where the fall of an Israeli interceptor missile caused a second fire to break out.

Ministry spokesman Uri Cohen told CNN: “We saw the interception operation and responded with more forces and with high intensity. We are working immediately and trying to contain the fire.”

“We are dealing with extreme weather conditions, variable winds, extreme drought with low humidity and high temperature. All of these conditions combined accelerate fire development,” Cohen said.

It’s unclear how long it will take to contain the fire, he said, adding that the fire burned for several hours on Monday, resulting in a “very complex firefighting effort.”

He added: “At the present time, we are working with high intensity on the ground, as well as from the air, in an attempt to contain and control the fires.”

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Israeli police said that authorities began evacuating residents as fires broke out on Monday afternoon local time in the mountainous Galilee region. Israeli police said they helped evacuate homes in Kiryat Shmona, a northern city close to the Lebanese border.

The fires came after authorities warned the public on Monday to expect a heat wave and warned against igniting forest fires.

Lebanon-based Hezbollah announced Monday that it had launched a “swarm of drones” at an Israeli military command center in the Galilee, causing fires to break out in the building. The group said it came in response to Israeli strikes on Hezbollah forces as well as homes In southern Lebanon, adding that three Hezbollah fighters were killed on Monday.

Thousands of Israeli residents were displaced after cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and the Israeli army began in October. The Lebanese group said that its attacks on northern Israel came in response to the Israeli war in Gaza.

During a tour of some of the most affected areas, IDF Chief of Staff, Major General Herzi Halevy, said that the Israeli army is ready to respond if asked to do so.

“We are approaching the point where a decision must be made, and the IDF is very prepared and ready for this decision,” Halevy said. “We have been attacking here for eight months, and Hezbollah is paying a very heavy price.”

He added: “We are ready, after a very good training process – reaching the level of military training – to move to launch an attack in the north. Halevy added: “Strong defense and preparation for attack. We are approaching the decisive point.”

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