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


Large fires broke out in northern Israel overnight, Israeli police announced Tuesday, attributing the fires to rocket fire from southern Lebanon.

Flames consumed some 4,000 dunams (1,000 acres or 400 hectares) of the northern region, Tiberias fire station chief Boris Eisenberg said. The Israeli Fire and Rescue Service said several firefighting teams, including an aerial firefighting squadron, had been deployed and were working through the night.

On Tuesday, Israeli fire and rescue services were confronted with two fires in the north of the country. Twelve teams were deployed to Keren Naftali, where a fire spread in several directions, while ten teams were deployed to the Biria forest in the Upper Galilee, where the fall of an Israeli interceptor missile caused a second fire.

“We saw the interception and responded with increased forces and high intensity. We are operating on scene and trying to contain the fire,” spokesperson Uri Cohen told CNN.

“We are facing extreme weather conditions, changing winds, high drought with low humidity and high temperatures. All of these conditions together accelerate the development of the fire,” Cohen said.

It’s unclear how long it will take to contain the fire, he said, adding that on Monday the fire lasted several hours, requiring a “very complex suppression effort.”

“At the moment we are operating at high intensity on the ground, also from the air, to try to contain the fires and bring them under control,” he said.

Authorities began evacuating residents as fires broke out at midday local time on Monday in the mountainous Galilee region, Israeli police said. Israeli police said they helped evacuate homes in Kiryat Shmona, a northern town near the Lebanese border.

The fires came after authorities warned the public on Monday that a heat wave was expected and warned against starting fires in forests.

The Lebanon-based Islamist group Hezbollah said Monday it had launched a “drone swarm” at an Israeli military command center in the Galilee, causing fires in the building. The group said it was a response to Israeli strikes against 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 its attacks on northern Israel were a response to Israel’s war in Gaza.

During a visit to some of the most severely damaged areas, IDF Chief of Staff Gen. Herzi Halevi said the IDF was ready to respond if asked.

“We are approaching the point where a decision will have to be made, and the IDF is prepared and very ready to make that decision,” Halevi said. “We have been attacking here for eight months and Hezbollah is paying a very, very high price. »

“We are ready, after a very good training process – up to the level of a military exercise – to move on to an attack in the north. Strong defense, preparation to attack, we are approaching a decision point,” Halevi added.

News Source : amp.cnn.com
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