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HANUKKAH FIRE in ISRAEL
HANUKKAH FIRE in ISRAEL
December 2, 2010
A woman in Israel wrote -
Israeli forest fire. About 40 killed, many in bus crash.
As if in response to http://cj.myfreeforum.org/about1371.html I have been watching a massive blaze on the Carmel from my window.
Ambulances back and forth all day.
The smoke turned sun into a BLOOD RED BALL all day. 40 dead, trapped in a bus by the blaze.
Can see the red glow covering the top of the mountain in the dark now.
We are in a super drought, high dry winds.
Israel forest fire leaves about 40 dead
A bus evacuating people from a massive forest fire in northern Israel went up in flames, killing dozens of guards who were helping to rescue inmates from a prison.
Fire officials said the blaze, which torched some 800 acres (325 hectares) and was one of the deadliest accidents in the country's history, remained out of control as nightfall arrived.
"This is a disaster of unprecedented proportions," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. He said the government was using all means at its disposal to contain the blaze.
The fire in the northern Carmel region broke out around midday, and within hours, authorities were clearing the area of hundreds of residents, as well as Palestinian inmates from a prison.
During the evacuation, a bus from the prison went up in flames. TV footage showed the charred skeleton of the bus, with dozens of bodies lying on the ground.
Yoram Levy, a spokesman for the national fire service, said some 40 people were killed as a result of the fire, most of them from the bus accident. He said officials suspected the fire erupted after people were burning garbage.
In a statement, Israel's prison service said the bus was carrying guards "on their way to help in the rescue activities" at the Damun prison.
Eli Bin, a spokesman for the Mada rescue service, said just three people survived the bus crash, and all suffered severe burns.
Israel has experienced an exceptionally hot summer and has had little rain this autumn, allowing the blaze to quickly spread.
"There is a fire burning, and we are not in control of these areas," said Yona Yahav, mayor of the northern city of Haifa. "It's a sad day for the country."
22 Confirmed Dead in Fire, Most were on Prisons Service Bus22 Confirmed Dead in Fire, Most were on Prisons Service Bus
Dozens of security personnel, many from the Israel Prisons Service, are believed to have perished in the fire that has been raging on the Carmel Mountain all day Thursday. Many of them are said to be IPS cadets. Twenty two people were confirmed dead by 7:00 PM and the total number of dead is estimated at 40.
If the fire was set by Arab arsonists – a likely possibility at this point – this is the deadliest terror attack since Israel's founding.Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday evening that the fire on the Carmel range is "a disaster of a scope that we are not familiar with."
Most of the casualties are reportedly Israel Prisons Service cadets, who were in their 20's.They were being transported on a bus after assisting in the evacuation of the Damon Prison. At a certain point the fire began spreading at great speed – covering a mile in five minutes, according to a firefighting officer – and the bus was caught in the flames with no chance of getting out.
The fire is out of control and is raging in 3 major locations: the Druze village of Usefiya, Beit Oren, and Nir Etzion.
Levy said that when darkness fell, all airborne firefighting activity ceased. This, he said, means that the fire continues to spread rapidly.
By morning, Levy estimated, Israel will be out of fire-dousing chemicals.
Using his live broadcast interview on Channel 2, Levy called on all firefighters in Israel to report to their stations, from which they will be transported to the area of the fire. He said Israel has a total of 1500 firefighters, and all of them are being called up.
Various spokesmen said that a major factor hindering firefighting attempts is the complete absence of large fire-dousing planes in Israel.
The PM has reportedly asked Russia, Italy, Germany and Cyprus to help fight the fire, Channel 2 reported. The request appears to reflect concern that the fire could spread further than it already has and go on for days.
Residents of religious kibbutz Nir Etzion, the Ein Hod artists' village and the nearby Arab village Ein Hud have been instructed to leave their homes, after it was determined that the fire might reach the communities.
The residents of Kibbutz Beit Oren and Usefiyeh were evacuated earlier in the day, as were the students of Haifa University, which is somewhat further away. Several homes in Usefiya have been burnt to the ground. Haifa University has been closed down until further notice.
The Brosh neighborhood in Tirat HaCarmel and a mental health hospital in Tirat HaCarmel may also be evacuated.
A resident of Beit Oren told Channel 2 news that several homes in the kibbutz burned down. Firefighters' spokesman Levy called Beit Oren "the former kibbutz of Beit Oren" in an evening interview, and said most of the homes in the comnmunity had been damaged.
Channel 2 reporter Yossi Mizrachi said that the way in which the fire spread indicated that the blaze erupted from three locations simultaneously -- making arson a likely possibility.
MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh) of the National Union is the first leader to publicly give voice the possibility that the fire was a terror attack – “an act of arson that turned into a massacre,” in his words. Most of the large forest fires in Israel were set by hostile Arabs, Katz said. He noted that he had proposed a bill for minimum punishment of terror arsonists and blamed Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman for torpedoing it.
The fire broke out around 10:00 AM this morning in an illegal garbage dump in the Carmel Mountains.
Ongoing rescue and fire-fighting efforts are said to be nearly impossible given the physical conditions of the mountains, smoke, dry conditions and winds.
The trapped bus is said to have departed from the Damon Prison, apparently as part of the attempt to evacuate the prison in the face of the fast-spreading fire.
The Damon jail mostly holds Arabs who were caught illegally entering Israel from the Palestinian Authority. According to IDF Radio, however, the bus was "not a prisoner bus."
MAN O MAN!I'M WATCHING FROM MY WINDOW.
THE FLAMES ARE SPREADING RAPIDLY AND GETTING BIGGER AND BIGGER!
THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN IS A RED BLAZING INFERNO RIGHT NOW!!!
Thank you my friend! When news is breaking, we cant count on accuracy.
After your post on Lion Roars, I flipped around the web finding what links on it that I could.
Just ONE ROAR of The Lion
BBC said it was Palestinians prisoners on the bus.
Dont worry - I dont count on BBC for accuracy.
40 prison guards killed as bus burns during rescue
A forest fire is raging out of control in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa in northern Israel.
Police are evacuating thousands of people, including hundreds of prison inmates.
A bus carrying 50 people was trapped in the inferno after overturning.
40 prison guards died a ghastly death when their bus struck a tree that had fallen across the highway and flipped over.
Only 10 of the 50 passengers managed to escape. The fire came from all directions and trapped the bus.
The prison women are safe in another prison facility.
Only cadets died.
The fire is totally out of control, and heading for a large neighborhood south of me by about 2 kilometers called Tirat Carmel.
They are being evacuated now.
About 70 dead so far.
Ambulances back and forth.
Natanyahu said we will run out of fire retardent very soon.
Hense, the call to Cyprus, Greece, etc.
Israel seeks outside help against raging Carmel fire as at least 40 people die
December 2, 2010 DEBKAfile Special Report
Deadly fire sweeps Mt. Carmel
Prime Minister Netanyahu has appealed urgently to Russia, Greece, Italy and Cyprus for urgent firefighting aid as the flames enveloping Mount Carmel south of Haifa blaze out of control. It claimed at least 40 deaths in a trapped bus fleeing Damun Prison from the inferno Thursday, Dec. 2. The victims, young trainees at a prison warders' course summoned to help evacuate the 500 inmates, were burnt alive as the flames changed direction and caught it swaying down a precipitous road away from the fire. The inmates had by then reached safety. Haifa police commander Ahuva Tomer is critically injured.
Firemen and police officers are missing and an unknown number of people have been injured.
After nightfall, the residents of Ein Hod, Nir Etzion and Ein Hood and the patients and staff of Tirat Hacarmel Hospital were told to escape to safety after Haifa University was evacuated.
Kibbutz Beit Oren, the Carmel Forest Hotel, the village of Issufiyeh and farms were evacuated earlier.
The kibbutz has burnt to the ground. The focal centers of the raging fire are roughly one to one-and-a-half kilometers apart, confirming the suspicion of arson.
Israel is short of stocks of the substances and equipment for tackling a fire on the scale sweeping Mt. Carmel.
The appeal from the prime minister's office went out after the fire brigade mobilized all its national manpower to fight the biggest fire Israel has ever seen.
IDF emergency units were called out for help and brought in water tankers. The Air Force is ferrying fire engines to the scene from across the country.
Aerial extinguishers were grounded as night fell while the search for missing firefighters and policemen continued in the dark.
Thousands of dunams of woodland and brush have been destroyed across the scenic mountain by a conflagration spread by strong eastern winds and fueled by the unseasonal drought which has left the entire region dry and parched.
Power was briefly cut off from some of the Druze villages on the Carmel where the fire started.
Further evacuations as result of spreading Carmel fire
December 3, 2010
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared, "I will declare this a day of mourning." Netanyahu pleaded with the public to stay away from the area of the fire and to listen for emergency instructions.
Areas of Denya neighborhood of Haifa begin evacuations; police chief orders IDF to film northern forest fire from above; 40 prison guards killed after being trapped in bus; PM to declare day of mourning.
Emergency officials overnight Friday began evacuating areas in the Denya neighborhood of Haifa as a result of the spreading Carmel forest fire in the northern part of the country.
Northern Israel was in a state of emergency as the worst ever fire in the country's history incinerated a bus carrying forty members of the Israel Prisons Service, killing everyone on board, destroying thousands upon thousands of dunams of forests on the Carmel Mountain ridge and injuring dozens. Twelve thousand residents from Tirat Carmel and other surrounding communities in the area were evacuated from their homes as a result of the fire.
As the flames spread at astonishing speeds, fed by parched forest lands that had not seen rain for eight months, fire crews battling the blazes were completely overwhelmed by the disaster, and several towns and villages, including Ussafiya, were evacuated for fear that the fire would engulf them too. An urgent order was put out by Fire and Rescue Commissioner Shimon Romach calling on all fire crews in the country to mobilize to the North and assist in the efforts to control the flames.
Areas of Denya neighborhood of Haifa begin evacuations; European fire suppression aircraft to arrive at IAF bases in hours; US sends 747 from NY; Egypt to supply fire retardant chemicals; 40 dead so far.
40 people died Thursday as a result of the raging Carmel forest fire in the North which continued to spread overnight Friday.
36 Israel Prison Service members, two police officers, one volunteer firefighter and one civilian lost their lives as a result of the blaze. Three people remained in critical condition at Rambam Hospital in Haifa.
Israel Air Force bases in Ramat David in the North were preparing to host European fire suppression aircraft from Greece, Spain and Cyprus which were scheduled to arrive Friday morning to help battle the fire. Additional aid was coming from Britain, Russia, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Romania, Jordan and Bulgaria. The IAF is readying for the possibility of sending its own aircraft to neighboring countries to gather fire retardant chemicals to assist in extinguishing the fire. The IDF decided not to renew fire suppression efforts by helicopters due to damage caused to the aircraft.
In addition, a Boeing 747 loaded with a fire retardant chemical is scheduled to leave the United States for Israel Thursday night, thanks to New York City Mayor Bloomberg, Israeli Acting Consul General Ido Aharoni, members of the FDNY and Tom Harbour, the Director of Fire and Aviation Management for the US Forestry Service.
Egypt has also offered to assist in firefighting efforts by supplying fire extinguishing chemicals, according to the IDF Spokesperson.
5:06 am Israel time
The giant blaze in the Carmel has spread to the city of Tirat Carmel and is threatening homes.
Firefighters are on the scene and police are asking residents of the city who were evacuated from their homes on Thursday evening, not to return to their homes.
Two Fires in Isfiya and Near Atlit Prison
Reported: 04:47 AM - Dec 3
Two new fires broke out early on Friday morning in the Carmel area: one fire broke near the entrance to Isfiya, and the second one fire broke out near the Atlit prison, which was evacuated earlier.
Firefighters are on scene and are attempting to put out the flames.
This is the town where the church is, Kehelat haCarmel, started by David Wilkerson's people.
I looked out the windew a half hour ago at 5 am, flames into the sky and advancing still west south and north.
Now, 5:35 am, flames lower but wind is stronger.
I see the fire truck lights, hear the choppers over head.
Greece's planes have arrived in Israel.
|NuriYahu Ben Lewy
Wow, i was in Isfiya earlier this year when i stayed the weekend @ Qehilat Ha Karmel,
I pray the Father puts His hand over them for good
Fires Drought and No Rain
December 3, 2010 Jerry Golden reports from Jerusalem
The Mt. Carmel Mountains around Haifa have many wild fires running out of control as of this Friday morning. Because so many fires started at the same time in different places it seems that arson is obvious. The fact that the fires were started at the time when high winds began making it impossible to contain them, adds to this suspicion..
A busload of prison guard cadets were sent to evacuate the inmates in a local jail, and then the bus was caught on the open road when the wind shifted, and the flames engulfed the vehicle killing 40 and injuring many others. Over 12,000 have been evacuated from their homes, military bases and the university has also been evacuated as the fires continue to spread. Greece and Cyprus have sent assistance to help fight these fires. . Thousands of dunams have been destroyed, and the fire is still out of control.
The mountains around Haifa are some of the most beautiful sights in Israel and the damage caused by these fires will be felt in many ways over the coming months and years. Haifa is Israel's third largest city. It is also a city where Arabs and Jews live together with very little friction.
This is all happening at the same time Israel is facing its worst drought in recorded history. The record keeping started in 1927 and this November was the driest ever recorded. The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is in danger of being contaminated by low water that will affect its ability to be used as drinking water for years to come. With no rain, high temperatures and low humidity causing evaporation, we have the added complication that we are not expecting a lot of precipitation this wet season.
The Knesset is holding special meetings trying to figure out what must be done to conserve water for the next few years. The water authority came by the house one day last week asking how many people lived in the house, in order to make plans for water rationing.
The desalination plants that are now operating in Hadera, Ashkelon and Palmahimare are producing around 300 million cu.m of fresh water a year. This helps, but is not nearly enough. In 2013 other plants will go into operation and will produce over 600 million cu,m a year. That should take care of the problem. In the meantime we will be forced to tighten our belts and conserve water in every way possible.
There are, however, other problems related to the lack of water. Wars are fought in the Middle East over this. For example, Jordan is hurting even more than Israel. They depend on their portion of the water from the Kinneret, yet they will not be receiving it -so we will be hearing from them shortly in ways that we will not like.
With the rest of the world suffering from economic and food supply crises they may not want to hear about these problems in Israel and the Middle East. Yet for the Christian, they know how important Israel is, and how it directly relates to what is happening to those nations who have turned against Jerusalem and the Jewish people.
Missing fireman's body found, raising Carmel fire fatalities to 42
December 3, 2010 dekba update
The body of the missing fireman found Friday, Dec. 3, raised the number of dead from the Carmel fire to 42. After battling dry, high winds through the night, firefighters closed the Haifa-Tel Aviv highway to traffic early Friday, Dec. 3, as the huge fire which enveloped the northern reaches of Mt. Carmel Thursday continued to blaze out of control and spread amid winds changing direction ever hour.
Northern sections of Highway 4 remain closed to traffic; Highway 2 was briefly closed and then reopened.They are the main arteries to northern Israel and have never been closed even during the 2006 war with Hizballah. Burning ash and heavy smoke have crossed Highway 4 from east to west, shutting it in both directions. Haifa's Danya neighborhood is threatened anew. More communities stand by for evacuation at Hof Hacarmel near the sea after the first 17,000 escaped their homes in the last 24 hours and were housed in provisional shelters. Numerous invitations to host them pour in from across the country.
The first crop-sprayer planes used by the Israeli fire brigade went up with first light, quickly joined by the first of some 20 planes from a dozen countries across the world carrying firefighters and fresh stocks of extinguisher materials in response to Israel's appeal for aid for the worst fire disaster in its experience.
An eyewitness account of events on the ground during the raging Carmel forest fire in the North.
A tragedy that was waiting to happen
Firefighters know that their organization has been systematically neglected by the government for decades.
PM thanks friends for int'l aid to battle Carmel fire
New fronts open in Carmel fire; Denya homes threatened
Over 20,000 dunams consumed; over 13,000 evacuated; blaze has claimed 41 lives; int'l aid to supplement effort to battle flames with aircraft.
Haifa police assistant commander fighting for life
Ahuva Tomer, who rushed to the blaze to direct operations, rescue trapped Prison Service cadets, is in critical condition.
11 Carmel fire victims identified, funerals to be held
30 additional people killed in blaze yet to be identified; many are Israel Prison Service members killed in tragic bus accident.
The identities of 11 of the 41 people who lost their lives to the Carmel fires raging through northern Israel were released on Friday.
BBC article and video
The fire appears to be under control now.
The smoke has way died down.
Budding optimism' in northern blazeBudding optimism in northern blaze
Spokesman for Haifa firefighters expresses hope even as authorities fear fires in Kiryat Bialik, Tivon were arson; also chastises those who returned to Beit Oren despite evacuation. 'Lots of homes were ruined,' he says
A spokesman for Haifa firefighting services, Reshef Hezi Levy, said Friday that "optimism is beginning to bud" in attempts at extinguishing a forest fire that has already claimed the lives of more than 40 people and consumed some 30 square km of land.
The blaze is currently centered in two areas – near Nir Etzion and northeast of Beit Oren. Highway 4 is still closed as well as the road to Beit Oren.
In the afternoon two additional fires broke out in Kiryat Bialik and Tivon. Authorities suspect both may have been the result of arson because they broke out simultaneously in different locations and because investigators found a bicycle and a wig at one site.
"We are not investigating at this time, we are now in a war," Levy said. "But this certainly raises question marks."
Levy also called on residents who had been evacuated from homes in danger of being engulfed by the flames to stay away. "It's a terrible thing that people went back to Beit Oren. We don't want people there and we know police did not allow it," he said.
Describing the damage, he said, "I was there. There are a lot of burnt homes, environmental damage. Lots of homes were destroyed."
Rescue forces fear that should the wind change directions towards the south such communities as Ein Hod and Nir Etzion will be badly affected. Many Ein Hod residents who were evacuated remain standing on Highway 4 as they watch their homes go up in flames. "The biggest issue are the winds that blow intensely and prevent efficient extinguishing," one rescue official said.
Meanwhile firefighters from all over Israel were working with teams who had come to assist them from abroad. Two Bulgarian firefighters, Theodore and Garisha, joined a crew from Ramat Gan. "We came to help Israel," one said. "Yesterday when we saw pictures from Israel online, we realized that this was a huge fire on an international scale. When we were offered to come to Israel we didn't think twice."
GrafficKids lighting fires.
This is the result:
WARNING! Graphic photo!
ARSONISTS CAUGHT RED HANDED
2 nabbed on suspicion of lighting fires
District Police commander Shimon Koren reported several firebomb attacks in the Haifa district Friday night, Dec. 2, after police backed by an Air Force drone caught two arsonists red-handed lobbing firebombs in several directions in a deserted area of Mt. Carmel. A police ambush backed by an Air Force drone trapped two men who, after looking around and seeing they were alone, lobbed firebombs in several directions. They have not been identified. The officers grabbed them and took them in for questioning.
Fires, suspected of being deliberate, have meanwhile spread to new sites - Kiryat Bialik, north of Haifa, Shefaram further inland to the east and Kiryat Tivon southeast of Haifa and the only one of the three locations actually on Mt. Carmel. Highway 70 from south of Haifa to Galilee was closed to traffic Friday night by new outbreaks near Bat Shlomo and Haifa's Neve Yosef neighborhood.
Earlier, near Kiryat Bialik, police found an abandoned bike and a wig, apparently abandoned by another arsonist who had apparently disguised himself with a wig and planned to ignite the local gas pump and start a fire that would have spread quickly to the factories of heavily-industrialized Haifa Bay.
Spotting the police, he dumped the wig and made off.
The suspicion of a politically-motivated arson conspiracy was further suggested by the damage caused the bronze statue of Alexander Zaid, the founder of the pre-state early 20th century Jewish defense organization, a frequent object of Israeli Arab vandals.
A third attempt to set dense foliage on fire was discovered in near Shefaram. Had it succeeded, a conflagration on the same scale as the Carmel disaster could have swept Western Galilee.
Will soon determine whether Carmel fire was arson or negligence; Kiryat Bialik, Tivon fires were both arson.
Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen said that the two arson suspects arrested earlier in the day are not linked to the main fire on the Carmel Mountain, at a press conference Friday evening.
Cohen said that investigators have determined that the large fire, which is raging in the Carmel, spread from a single ignition point. He added that the cause of the fire, either arson or negligence, would probably be determined by Saturday.
Carmel blaze still uncontrolled; planes forced to stop flying for the night; fire breaks out near Kfar Mashad; blazes near near Bat Shlomo south of Haifa, Kfar Adi in Galilee controlled.
Fire continuesThe fire has moved south more.
Ein Hod is engulfed in flames.
I'm sitting at my window watching the flame retardent planes and choppers with water bags go by back and forth to the fire.
December 4, 2010
I really appreciate your updates, Israeli.
I hope you are not in danger.
Jesus said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
These fires are being lit during Hanukkah, when everyone should be joyous and happy. Something prophetic here.
The Jewish festival of lights is celebrated December 1-9
Another arson suspected in grove near Jerusalem
Fire reported in south Lebanon near border; no immediate danger to Israel
Days of awe and light, with a dreadful new significance.
These fires have been a national disaster and a national day of mourning.
It will take A WEEK to put them all out.
The blaze in the Carmel mountain range is subsiding.
UN chief to Netanyahu: Carmel forest fire a 'terrible tragedy'
Ban says inspired by the generous international assistance rendered to Israel, 'especially from your neighbors in the region.'
FIRE a WARNING WORD to ISRAEL!
The fire is the same location where Elijah called down fire long ago.
It was then a call to Israel as to who will you worship and how long will you sit on the fence of unbelief.
The fire of God is seeking a righteous offering to be consumed.
Oh Lord pour out Your spirit and show us how to pray in this hour.
Lord may You receive Great Glory.
It is said arsonists have been caught who set the fire below and around Mount Carmel.
From here Elijah said "I will pray to the God who answers by fire. One so great He takes his own altar away!
For some time the Spirit of God has been saying
Why do you stop between 2 opinions? Either Yahweh is God or Baal.
Now during Hanukkah, Israel herself has become the burning Menorah of GOD.
The nations send help as the ancient Mount Carmel burns.
To the nations we say,
HEAR oh nations, and prepare the way of the LORD!
For He was - and is - and is to come!
Our God is a consuming Fire where you ever burn and never die!
The Lion of Judah comes!!!
I got this warning word in my email from Jerusalem Dec. 4, 2010
The Hanukkah fires are blazing in Israel. This word directly ties to the following word!
Just ONE ROAR of The Lion
Evergreen Supertanker landed in Israel Saturday. This can fly during the night.
Boeing 747-200 modified into aerial firefighting aircraft considered the largest aerial firefighting aircraft in the world.
Fire or Massacre?
December 4, 2010 Saturday
The fire in the Carmel Mountains may turn out to be the worst terror act in Israel's history, but major news outlets appear resolute in their will to ignore this possibility and its implications.
Israel's left-oriented major news media are on the whole defining the fire as a "disaster," spending most of their broadcast time discussing the insufficient preparation for a disaster of this magnitude and
downplaying the fact that Arab arson is likely to be behind the blaze.
Teen hero killed while fighting Carmel blaze
16-year-old Elad Riven lost his life while volunteering in battle against Carmel hills fire. Birthday balloons still decorate his home.
He ran into the fire to save others.
Photo Gallery, Uncontrolled blazes in the North
Firefighters face wall of flames at Hai-Bar nature reserve on Mount Carmel
Firefighters weaken Carmel fire, say flames could intensify overnight
Fire still rages in four sites in Carmel; firefighters concerned that firefighting aircraft cannot be used at night, when winds strengthen the flames.
Police arrest 2 brothers suspected of starting Carmel wildfire
The two 16-year-olds from the Druze village Isfiya lit a fire near their home which ultimately spread and set the entire Carmel ablaze.
sorry if some links duplicated. I am trying to keep up.
I FINALLY saw this fire on FOX TV Saturday
Israel gaining on Carmel fire
December 5, 2010
Fire will take days to put out, 5 million trees destroyed.
The Carmel Mountain Range blaze was under better control on Sunday morning, but fires still raged.
Boeing 747 supertanker from the United States joined the firefighting effort Saturday night.
The aircraft is capable of carrying 95,000 liters of water and flame retardant liquid.
Possiblly fires may be under control by Sunday night, but days before all the fires are out.
30 fire-fighting aircraft resumed operations early on Sunday morning, and prepared to drop fire-fighting materials and water on the four remaining areas of fire in Israel's North. Among the aircraft was the Evergreen Supertanker aircraft that landed in Israel overnight, expected to take flight around lunchtime. The privately owned US Boeing 747, the largest fire-fighting aircraft in the world – landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport and was set to make its first flight over the fire at around 6 a.m, a senior IAF officer said. The plane can carry 80 tons of water and fire retardant.
All 41 casualties of the fire were identified by forensic officers at the L. Greenberg Institute for Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir, and a series of funerals were held. More will take place on Sunday.
Police arrested 2 brothers from Usfiya, aged 14 and 16, suspected of having started the blaze by failing to douse a bonfire around which they had been playing and smoking on Thursday morning.
They are suspected of negligence rather than deliberate arson. Arson is suspected at several other points where fires have erupted since the initial blaze took hold.
By Saturday night, more than 17,000 people had been evacuated from 15 communities, and five million trees had been destroyed.
------------ debka --------------
Arson attacks spread from North to Jerusalem. Air fleet battles Carmel fire
Arson attacks spread Saturday, Dec. 4 from the North to Jerusalem, where fires started at Tsur Hadassah and the Jerusalem Forest. Day Three of the Carmel fire day began with a fleet of foreign planes taking off at first light to dump water and fresh supplies of retardants on the flames and smoke again engulfing Beit Oren, Ein Hod, Nir Etzion and Isfiya, fanned by scorching winds.
The two giant Russian Il-76s carry 42 tons of water in each sortie. Greek, Cypriot, Turkish and British planes filled their tanks with seawater and doused focal points. Jordan and Egypt sent fire trucks and volunteers.
Despite the massive international effort to beat back the fire, the overall director of the fire-fighting operation, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch was not optimistic about quick results Saturday. The blaze is showing as much obstinacy as the forces fighting it.
The bodies were recovered of two senior police officers, Lior Boker, 57, North Command Operations chief, from Pardess Hanna and Yizhak Melina, 46, head of Traffic in Haifa district, the fireman Uri Semandayov, 27, from Mishmar HaEmek, and Elad Riban, the 16-year old schoolboy volunteer from Haifa. Ahuva Tomer, commander of the Haifa district is still in serious condition.
As part of the official campaign to avoid attaching a deliberate character to the widely-spread outbreaks of fire, police spokesmen reported that an initial probe had shown the Carmel fire was set off Thursday, Dec. 1, by the carelessness of an Isfiya family who neglected to put out the nargilla they were smoking.
Nonetheless, debkafile reports the police have posted patrols in Western Galilee and other parts of northern Israel to watch out for fire-raisers. Saturday, Manara and Margaliot near Kiryat Shmona and the Galilee Panhandle, were the northernmost point hit by suspected arson. Fires there triggered explosions at a nearby minefield. The Manara-Margalit road was closed and Jewish National Fund forest inspectors asked to keep an eye out for offenders from their look-out posts.
Two American flights are now expected with fire-fighting materials and experts. One French plane is in place and three more, two of them amphibious, go into action Sunday with tanks capable of carrying 10 tons of water and refilling every 20 minutes. Altogether, nine foreign planes are due Sunday, with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev promising a third Iyushin and a big air transport.
Black stumps and soot-laden soil are all that remains of 10,000 acres of nature reserve, parks and woodland of the northern Carmel range, one of the most popular and scenic getaway spots in the country. Four million trees, some of them rare species, were lost, despite the efforts of the Nature and Parks Authority and Jewish National Fund personnel. The Hay Bar open zoo is threatened, although the animals are still safe.
The Fire Brigade's entire national force of 400 firefighters mobilized Thursday are all still on duty. Seventeen villages, kibbutzim and other locations have been evacuated and housed in temporary shelters. Friday night, seven people, trapped in a burning building at the Ein Hod artists' village, were rescued safely.
------------ debka --------------
Air offensive contains Carmel wildfire
The onslaught waged by aerial firefighters from half a dozen countries Saturday, Dec. 4, contained the calamitous Mt. Carmel wildfire raging since Thursday - although the situation remains volatile. If the winds abate during the night, during which aircraft are grounded, progress may be confirmed. The overall director of the firefighting operation, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, remained pessimistic although at one point he saw "the beginning of the end" of the worst fire disaster in its history.
Saturday night, volunteer defense teams caught six individuals in the act of starting fires in different parts of Galilee.
Residents were allowed to return home to Tirat Hacarmel, Kfar Galim. Kibbutz Hahotrim, Moshav Megadim and Haifa's Danya suburb, but tongues of fire were still shooting up at the artists' village of Ein Hod, Nir Etzion and around the two Druze villages Isfiya, threatening the Demobbed Soldiers district, and Daliat Hacarmel.
As the Carmel fire abated, the rash of arson attacks spread, concentrated in Lower and Western Galilee but also touching on the Jerusalem vicinity for the first time Saturday. Northern District commander Shimon Koren reported progress in the investigation into attacks and said he expects to make arrests.
The Carmel fire is initially believed to have started Thursday after two 16-year old boys from Isfiya neglected to put out a bonfire over which they had met friends for a smoke.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered firefighting air unit established and announced a comprehensive program would be set in place to indemnify people for the damage suffered in the fire and promised to cut through Israel's notorious red tape. He also pledged a national program to restore the Carmel woodlands to their former beauty.
The fire is calculated to have laid waste to 50,000 dunams of nature preserve and woodland on the Carmel range and destroyed five million trees.
Many houses with their contents are black ruins, especially in Ain Hod where many artists lost their life's work.
Through the night, bulldozers will smash through the burnt acres to create wide fire breaks to contain the spread of more outbreaks.
Netanyahu stressed it is no disgrace to call on international aid in a fire emergency.
International response to the crisis was amazing, he said in a news briefing Saturday night.
He reserved special praise for Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians, as well as Greece whose planes arrived first and Russia,
which has sent on a 10-day mission an Il-76 Ilyushin plane, capable of dumping 42 tons of water onto fires, an amphibious Be-200 Beriev plane and a Mi-26 Halo heavy transport helicopter equipped with a 15-ton water reservoir.
Four American planes were due Saturday night with experts and emergency supplies of anti-fire substances as well as four French planes and two German choppers.
By Sunday, there should be a score of planes fighting the wildfire over Mt. Carmel.
He has charted a Boening 747 Jumbo converted fire-fighting with tanks able to carry 80 tons of water and nigh vision instruments.
The Sunday cabinet session takes place in Tirat Hacarmel instead of Jerusalem.
US Supertanker goes into action
December 5, 2010 Sunday
Largest firefighting aircraft lands in Israel overnight, begins dumping water, flame retardant chemicals on inferno in north. It will contribute significantly to fire extinguishing efforts
The guilty party
Op-ed: Alex Fishman
Imagine that a missile barrage landed Thursday on the Carmel, in central Israel, or in the Galilee region, producing fires in 5 different sites.
Thursday's catastrophe is merely an example of the helplessness of the State of Israel's emergency services.
The weakest link within this establishment is the fire department
PM promises to cut through red tape in Carmel rehab
Netanyahu reiterates there's no shame in asking for help; vows to eliminate bureaucracy, find quick solutions in helping individuals, businesses and municipalities recover from blaze; Barak tours damage at Beit Oren.
New photos document tragic last moments of bus caught in Carmel fire
Carmel fire is Netanyahu's Katrina
PRAY for RAIN for Israel!!
As I sit here on the beach at the foot of the Carmel, those planes fly right over our heads, diving toward the sea, to gather sea water. Quite an air show! CJ, EXCELLENT COVERAGE!
Todah dear one -DO NOT BREATHE IN the chemicals those planes are dropping!
December 5, 2010 Sunday
3 days after Hannukkah fires began, Israel has gained control of biggest fire in their history.
Extinguishing operations to continue in coming days in bid to prevent fire from re-erupting.
Firefighters gain control of all blazes in Carmel area
US Super Tanker completes two runs in Carmel fire
Modified Boeing 747 can carry 94,000 liters of water, 20 times more than a firetruck; plane will stay in Israel overnight as "insurance policy."
"Too late," was how most officials described the arrival on Sunday of the world's largest firefighting aircraft to assist in efforts to extinguish the Carmel Forest blaze.
Owned by Evergreen International Aviation, the Supertanker is a modified 747-200, making it look on the outside like any other Boeing cargo plane.
On Sunday, The Jerusalem Post received a rare and exclusive tour of the plane revealing its eight massive and pressurized water tanks which provide it with the ability to carry about 94,000 liters of water and fire retardant material, almost 20 times more than an average fire truck.
NOW PRAY for RAIN in ISRAEL!
Thank GOD the Arab enemies of GOD and Israel didnt take this opportunity to attack!
IT RAINED LAST NIGHT! Cool air, higher humidity and rain for today!
PRAISE the LORD!!
KEEP PRAYING for RAIN for Israel!!
Israeli leaders face scorching criticism over fire
Israeli officials came under sharp criticism Sunday for their handling of the country's deadliest wildfire ever, prompting critics to ask whether the nation's leaders can cope with more serious challenges, like rocket attacks and a nuclear-armed Iran.
Israelis have been riveted to round-the-clock coverage of the blaze, which has claimed 41 lives and devastated one of the few forests in this arid country. The site of bumbling leaders and overwhelmed rescuers turning to the outside world for help sparked anger over the vulnerability of a nervous — and densely populated — home front.
Late Sunday, a senior fire official, Boaz Rakia, declared the blaze under control, though it was unclear when it would be extinguished.
Israel has long prided itself on its ability to minimize civilian casualties in times of conflict. But just four years after a devastating war against Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas, in which the civil defense system was caught off guard by waves of rocket fire, the nation still appears ill-prepared to handle its next disaster.
Israeli entire emergency system like the fire service is in no shape for a crisis
December 8, 2010 DEBKAfile Special Report
MEMORIAL * Ahuva Tomer lived and died like a hero
December 6, 2010
Haifa Police Chief Commander Ahuva Tomer dies of wounds.
First woman to head police station, Ahuva Tomer, succumbs to her wounds after four-day hospitalization.
Tomer was gravely injured in Carmel forest fire, while driving behind bus full of Prison Service cadets that burned down.
Ahuva Tomer dies after being fatally injured in wild-fire when she raced to scene of Prison Service bus caught in flames.
Brothers accused of igniting fire released
The Haifa District Court released 2 siblings arrested on suspicion they ignited the Carmel fire, less than 24 hours after their arrests.
The two are charged with negligence leading to death and fire, but at the hearing on their appeal the judge said he had chosen to be lenient because of the limited evidence presented as well as their status as minors.
Israel bids farewell to foreign firefighting teams
Foreign pilots receive honorary medals from Air Force for helping combat Carmel wildfire.
Friends are measures in times of need. You proved yourselves true friends, Nevatim Airbase commander tells crew members
RIP CommanderI just watched Ahuva Tomer's motorcade go slowly by our apartment, with full police escort to the grave yard.
Mercifuly, she did not have to awaken and endure all the pain and skin grafts that would take years after 90% of the body burned.
But where is she NOW?
You know what I mean. Eternity.
December 6, 2010 Monday
I thot I was DONE reporting on this. Perhaps not.
Usfiya teen admitted to dumping hookah coal
Shortly after Haifa District Court releases two teens suspected of negligent arson police announce new suspect who admitted to smoking hookah in open territory, dumping burning coal
Police arrested a 14-year-old teenage resident of Usfiya Monday who is suspected of negligently causing the Carmel fire disaster.
Earlier on Monday two teens arrested for similar suspicions were released after the Haifa District Court granted their appeal.
Police claim the third suspect admitted to smoking a hookah in an open area near Usfiya, throwing out the burning coal and not reporting that a fire had erupted.
In his interrogation he said that he returned to school after smoking the hookah and reenacted the incident to investigators.
Earlier on Monday, the Haifa District Court ordered that two brothers who were arrested on suspicion they negligently caused the Carmel fire be released from custody. Judge Avraham Elyakim granted their appeal against the Magistrate's Court's decision to extend their remand by three days.
I just found out today, an eye witness account of the bus that was trapped, a log had fallen blocking their way out, so they tried backing up. Another car behind them also began to back up when a sudden fast moving fire ball, a wall of fire 50 METERS, thats right, METERS not 50 feet high engulfed them all so fast, they were done for.
What a horrid way to die. I did see some photos of the burning bus,
and it appeared that a tree had fallen across the road. the car immediately behind the bus was sideways - as if turning around.
Restoring the Land
Announcing the Israel Today Forest
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP ISRAEL! I planted 3 trees in Israel in 1982
I have personally met the owner of this news magazine. I trust him.
There are many stories of tragedy and woe coming out of the Carmel forest disaster. But the one that is going to effect Israel the longest is the loss of a major national forest.
Experts predict that it will take about 40 years before 12,000 acres that were torched are rehabilitated.
Not only has the fire destroyed a once lush landscape, but the loss of five million trees has caused serious ecological damage to the area.
Israel Today is preparing to do its part to help restore this beautiful portion of the Land of Israel by planting the “Israel Today Forest.”
We want to invite all of you to partner with us in this endeavor.
The Israel Today Forest will be made up of 3,000 trees, and will be clearly marked so that all who contribute toward this effort will one day be able to visit the very trees they helped plant in Israel’s time of need.
A large stone engraving placed in front of the forest will tell all Israelis that it was planted by the readers of Israel Today Magazine.
If Jesus is with us, where do we take Him?
ZionsCRY DAILY NEWS with Prophetic Commentary
Bus survivor stared death in the face
Sigal Duek, survivor of Carmel fire, tells harrowing tale of escape from prison service cadets' bus
Senior Warden Sigal Duek saw 36 Prison Service course cadets and staff members burn in front of her eyes, and is struggling to shake off the trauma.
Her brother, Tomer Gamdani, told Ynet on Wednesday that his sister had recounted the disaster before him. "I saw the cadets burn in front of my very eyes. I stared death in the face," she said. To her husband she had confessed, "I love you all", certain she would not survive the fire.
"We drove down the Beit Oren road and while driving noticed private vehicles which were making u-turns because of the flames and the heavy smoke. One of the officers stepped down to direct the bus while it made a u-turn and then the fire hit the bus. It started burning."
Sigal said the fire spread quickly. "The fire reached the front of the bus and it started going up in flames. I yelled to the cadets to get off immediately. The back door was jammed and the cadets broke it open. When we got off we ran away from the bus."
Sigal's brother's Tomer said that photographer Roni Sofer saved Sigal and two other cadets who were with her. The three got in his car and drove off as the flames surrounded the area.
"It was all a matter of seconds," the brother noted. "The cadets who were with her helped her run and then she jumped on the car's windshield and yelled 'save us, save us.'
She told us she felt the heavy heat on her body as the fire quickly spread. Some of the cadets managed to escape the bus but the fire got hold of them and burned them alive.
Had the photographer not been there she and the other cadets would not have made it and would have burned alive like their friends."
God saved her from the flames
Tomer serves in the National Traffic Police in Central Israel. During the disaster he accompanied Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen to the fire command post. "Earlier, Sigal had sent a message saying they were going to reinforce the Damon Prison. I knew she was on the way. While I was accompanying the commissioner I heard that the bus had turned over. I tried calling her but couldn't get through.
"My family also tried and failed to reach her. When we were done escorting the commissioner I said I was staying there until I knew what had happened. On the way I stopped the car.
I had to drink something. I waited at the Atlit Junction. A fireman told me there were more than 11 burned bodies. I was worried. The whole family was worried, anxious. "
Tomer said he feared for his sister's life. "At one point I phoned her and got the answering machine. I told myself that it's a good sign that I got the answering service.
After a few minutes she phoned me back all rattled and said she got to Damon Prison and is scared that the flames would burn down the prison as well.
In prison she managed to talk to a social worker. They then escorted her out. We hugged tight and she cried and said how afraid she was and all that had happened.
God saved her from the flames; seeing everything burning all around they ran and saw the photographer.
She stared death in the face and was sure she was going to burn to death."
Israeli entire emergency system like the fire service is in no shape for a crisis
December 8, 2010 DEBKAfile Special Report
!Well! After all the dry weather and the fires that came from it,
we are having a howeling rain storm!
High winds, driving rain, from Elat to Metula!
Its driving right into my salon!
I face the sea so I'm getting the full force of the gale and rain!
O my, isnt that a pane!
Sorry - bad sense of humor.
I rejoice Israel is getting RAIN. Thank you LORD, thank YOU!
Stormy weather hits Israel
Israel Receives Nearly 1 Months Worth Rain
Storm Causes Damage, Replenishes Water Supplies
December 12, 2010 IsraelNationalNews.com
Storms raged in Israel on Sunday, bringing heavy rain to the center and north of the country and clouds of dust to the south.
Seawalls broke down in Caesaria and Tel Aviv, leading to concerns for the security of the ancient Caesaria port.
In Be'er Sheva, which was hit by a dust storm blowing up from Egypt, the level of particles in the air was 10 times the limit deemed acceptable for pollutants.
In Jerusalem air quality was over the limit by a factor of eight, and in Tel Aviv, by a factor of four.
High winds were reported throughout the country, with wind speed reaching 100 kilometers per hour in some places. The winds pushed storm clouds north.
Several people suffered storm-related injuries, including a man in Netanya who was moderately wounded when a falling tree branch struck his car.
While the storm caused some damage, it also brought much-needed rain.
In Haifa a total of 130 millimeters fell, approaching the monthly average of 140mm. Tzfat got 164mm, and Naharia, 143.
Less rain fell in the central coast. In Tel Aviv, only 15mm fell. However, experts said they expect water levels in streams and other reserves to continue to rise overnight.
Snow fell in the Hermon. Weather forecasters said snow will continue to fall Monday as well.
The dust is expected to subside by Monday morning, while stormy weather is expected to continue.
Israeli posted this on a separate thread here. I wanted to add it here because I asked people to PRAY for RAIN for Israel. He answered us!
PRAISE THE LORD!
Did golden calf cause Carmel blaze?
For a few days now, the colorful poster claiming that the Carmel fire took place due, among other things, to the "golden calf ceremony" held in Ein Hod and the fact that the towns in the Carmel region "bake pita bread over the Passover holiday"
"Idolatry of the golden calf, by hundreds and thousands in the artists' village of Ein Hod, turning the entire torah of Israel into a joke, baking pita bread during the Passover holiday out of spite, massive desecration of the Sabbath, debauchery and adultery by the thousands; how could God not burn the region?"
The poster includes a picture of a golden calf, put on display during an art festival held at the artists' village damaged by the fire. Another picture is that of a woman with a veil and blurred face, making a Druze pita with a caption that reads: "Baking pitas with Arabs during Passover".
The Holon Religious Council is home to the headquarters of the city's rabbi – Avraham Yosef, son of Shas' spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who, when the fire broke out claimed that desecration of the Sabbath was the cause.
"I understand that it offends people, so we'll take it down," he added. Yet, he also mentioned Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's statements hinting that the desecration of the Sabbath caused the fire: "That week when it happened, the rabbi said there was desecration of the Sabbath, and that is one of the things that bring catastrophes upon the state of Israel, not the fire in particular but road accidents as well. These aren't my statements – great rabbis who quote the scriptures said them. The statements are written clearly."
These are some statements taken from an article written in the web site Israeli ynetnews.com
I have been doing some extensive reading and studying lately in the OT book of Judges and understand God's patterns how He deals with Israel when they fall into sin and what happens when they repent and turn back to Him.
When He dealt with His people, both the guilty and the innocent had to go through the judgments that came to the nation. When the Israelis destroyed their idols, then God blessed and protected His chosen ones.