“I will set fire to the wall of Rabbah, And it shall devour its fortresses, Amid shouting on a day of battle, On a day of violent tempest.” Amos 1:14 (The Israel Bible™)
Wildfires have been raging in the hills of Samaria since Wednesday night, burning approximately 1,700 acres of land and causing an estimated $200,000 of damage to local farmers.
“This is the fourth fire to break out in 4 days, endangering residents and families, destroying years worth of work by farmers. The heart breaks,” Iyar Segal, a resident of the Itamar hills, said in an interview with Israel National News. “We expect the Civil Administration, the IDF and police to arrest the arsonists with a strong hand, and to assist the farmers and residents.”
Included in the losses were Israeli-owned vineyards and fields in the Shiloh area. The fires were determined to be arson after several suspicious individuals were seen fleeing the scene. The fires also threatened Jewish homes. This type of arson, a form of agricultural terrorism, is not uncommon.
On Tuesday, terrorists threw firebombs into the cherry tree plantation belonging to Kibbutz Kfar Etzion in Gush Etzion, causing extensive damage to the trees.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, said: “The heart breaks to see thousands of dunams of farmland and pasture burning. I demand an investigation into the matter to find the culprits and bring them to trial. The farmers, who really sacrifice themselves to work the land and make desolation bloom, cannot be the last ones on the food chain. They should be helped and the fires should be stopped in every possible way. “
Last month, over 1,000 arson generated wildfires burned almost 2,000 acres of forest, devastating the town of Mevo Modi’im and leaving the entire community homeless.