Fire Intifada Update: 37 Arsonists Arrested, Police Stretched

Security services have now arrested 37 arson terrorists.  18 of them are Israeli Arabs and the rest live in “Palestinian” Arab controlled area of Judea and Samaria. The arrests come on the backdrop of the realization that the Shin Bet (Israel’s Undercover Intelligence Agency) was completely caught off-guard by the Arab terrorists.  The success of the fire terrorism in crippling Israel is something of an embarrassment for an agency known for its undercover prowess.

Security services are currently investigating 233 cases of arson in connection with the fires that have raged across Israel for nearly a week. Given the severity and scope of damage of the fire, most observers believe a change of attitude and approach is necessary in order to prevent what will most likely be an ongoing threat.

Arsonist Caught in Gush Etzion

In relation to the ongoing manhunt for squads of arson terrorists, the police reported on one of their successful operations:

“As part of police operations searching and finding suspects who were involved in setting off fires and causing the blazes, this morning nature observers and Parks Authority personnel spotted a suspect setting fire to bushes intending to start a larger fire. Police units immediately responded and began a pursuit in order to arrest the suspect. The suspect began to flee and police tracked him down and the 44 year old resident of the village of Hussan was arrested. Police operations are continuing to find suspects and make arrests and at the same time prevent further fires and danger to communities. International coordination and operations with airplanes is continuing. The Israel Police is calling upon all Arab authorities both Israeli and the Palestinian Authority to show responsibility in these days, to strongly condemn any attack which can endanger human lives and endanger communities regardless of religion, race and nationality.”

Below is the video of the successful apprehension of the arsonist:

The real challenge is not whether or not security forces are capable of stopping arsonists, but rather stress such continued operations places on police and army units whose focus may be needed elsewhere.