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Sun. Nov 27, 2016 News from Israel

  • Day 6 of fires :24 arrested on suspicion of arson : 18 Israeli Arabs and 6 Palestinians
  • IAF strikes ISIS-affiliated cell in Syria after cross-border fire on Golan Heights
  • Rivlin calls Erdogan to thank him for Turkey's assistance in putting out wave of fires raging throughout Israel

The investigations of the fires in Israel continued on Sunday. At this stage, 24 suspects are under arrest. The police say that 18 of them are Arab-Israelis with 2 admitting to arson and 6 ogf them are Palestinians. The Israeli police has started investigations regarding 233 fires suspected of arson.At this stage, 45 cases of suspected arson and 5 cases of suspected incitement on Facebook are being investigated, 3 of which are Jews and 2 Arabs. In a special cabinet meeting in fire-ravaged Haifa, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces the establishment of a multinational firefighting force that he says “will also coordinate the purchasing of planes. He added "The dozens of wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes and forced tens of thousands to flee was in many ways worse than the deadliest fire in Israel’s history and worse than terror attacks “he told ministers attending the weekly meeting . Netanyahu and Finance minister Moshe Kahlon promised that  the government would work quickly to “cut through the red tape  of the bureaucracy” and speedily rehabilitate the lives of those affected by all fires that have swept the country over the past several days. In the first concrete reference to the number of suspicions of arson, Defense Minister Lieberman during a visit to the West Bank community of Halamish (Neve Tzuf), where residents were forced to evacuate late Friday and Saturday due to an encroaching fire, said there was “proof” that 17 of 110 recorded outbreaks were caused by arsonists, and authorities “were still investigating the other incidents.”

A serious incident occurred Sunday morning in the southern Golan Heights when gunshots were fired at IDF soldiers in the area. The gunshots were fired from near the fence on the Syrian side of the border. An IDF force from the Golani Brigade that was in the area returned fire after the soldiers spotted the source of the gunshots. In addition an IAF aircraft was scrambled. According to the initial investigation, it appears that the four terrorists who fired at the soldiers belonged to the Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist organization located in southern Syria that is affiliated with ISIS. The four terrorists were eliminated in the exchange of fire that included mortar shells. Prior to today, there had been no recorded incidents between the terrorist organization and IDF forces. During a special cabinet meeting in Haifa, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the soldiers who had repelled the attack, saying that “we are well prepared on our northern border, and will not let ISIS or any other group gain a foothold for their war in Syria.”

President Reuven Rivlin called his Turkish counterpart President Erdogan, to thank him for Ankara’s assistance in battling the blazes that have been raging throughout Israel.Erdogan responded, “As soon as I found out that the fire was spreading I requested we send our helicopters and teams to help, and I hope and pray that the mission will end with the best outcome possible.”in the conversation Erdogan also mentioned the bill moving through Israel’s Knesset that would muffle the call to prayer in the country’s mosques, and Rivlin told him that the matter would be “considered with sensitivity, as any matter of freedom of speech and religion should be.”

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