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Fire Rages In Israel

Summary: Devasting fires rage throughout Israel, from north to the south. Fears of suspected arson are behind some of the infernos as residents evactuated away from danger. The situation looks critical as people and infrastructure are threatened.

Israel burns. The nation has seen numerous wildfires over the past decades and is able to deal with various emergency situations. However, the fires that currently scorch the land are unprecedented in scale and danger.

A very dry summer has enabled fires to take hold very quickly. Aided by favourable winds, destruction is over a large area and emergency services are struggling to contain the damage. Human life and important national infrastructure stands in the path of the fire wave, adding to the critical nature of the disaster unfolding.

The Israeli governement has requested help from overseas in bolstering the national effort to contain the fire. Crews from Greece and Croatia have arrived and are assisting operations. Additional crews are expected from Italy and Russia, highlighting the very serious and complex nature of the threat facing the nation.

Israel is not a novice in having to tackle situations of this nature, having fought numerous defensive wars and ongoing terror threats. Services are used to dealing with incidents on a national scale and due to this experience, Israel has assisted other countries stricken with emergencies from earthquakes, fires, viral outbreaks and field hospitals.

However, even Israel, experienced as it is, is facing a huge challenge in containing the fires.

Currently, Haifa in the north-west of Israel, is almost encircled with flames, moving closer to residential areas. Evacuations have already taken place for those in immediate danger.

Haifa's northern neighbourhood Mount Carmel of Romema has been evacuated. Other neighbours under threat include Ramot Sappir and fields close to Haifa's main train station.

Students from Haifa University have now been evacuated as a precautionary measure as fire spreads ever closer to the residential areas in the north of the city.

Reports are coming in all the time of serious injuries. A spokesman for the Haifa fire services has described the scene "like a battlefield."

Home Front Command, responsible for national security and emergencies, have dispatched two divisions to aid the effort to bring the fires under control.

A senior firefighter in Haifa expressed concerns behind the cause of some of the fires, "I know for a fact that they tried to set fire to the department's station in Haifa deliberately to cause the Haifa fire department to be paralyzed."

Power cuts have affected areas where fires have caused electrical infrastructure damage, further adding to misery many now feel.

Fires have broken out across Samaria, Modiin and close to other settlement villages.

On the outskirts of Jerusalem, near the Nataf nature reserve, fires broke out and firefighters are dealing with the situation via aircraft spraying material to combat the flames and prevent further outbreaks to the surrounding dry areas.

Arson has been a previous suspect in fires that have ravaged Isreal. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of precious forest land has been destroyed in former fires. Some, the raw force of nature, careless attitudes in the countryside but many times, the work of arsonists with nationalistic motives.

Please PRAY fervently that all fires will be contained shortly, that there will be no loss of life or critical infrastructure.

PRAY particularly for Haifa, the city closest to where Elijah brought fire down on the false prophets of Baal. The situation on the ground for both residents and emergency crews is critical. Concerns are growing about how the raging fires can be contained in time, before incalculable damage is done.

Fire crews are at maximum stretch; PRAY for them, their ability and resolve to deal with the crisis.

About Ian Jupp

Ian Jupp is Executive Director of Return To Zion Ministries.
Ian's experience as a communicator, pastor, writer, teacher and his understanding of the Middle East, Israel, The Church and God's purposes, place him in a unique position to provide timely commentary on the urgent, prophetic events that are unfolding in our day.
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