A large storage area for hay bales belonging to an opposition lawmaker went up in flames in the early hours of Saturday morning, with investigators examining whether the blaze was caused by arson.
The fire was at Yesh Atid Ram Ben Barak’s property at Moshav Nahalal in the north of the country.
“The damage is worth millions,” said Ben Barak. “One of the possibilities being investigated is that it was arson, but fire investigators have started a probe and all avenues are being investigated.”
“I don’t want to blame anyone before I know the facts. We will take solace in the fact that none of the calves were burned,” he told the Kan public broadcaster.
Eyal Betzer, head of the Emek Jezreel Regional Council and a member of the moshav, said that there were “many questions surrounding this fire.”
“It is hay and not straw, so it should burn more slowly. There are no electrical connections in the place, so that rules out the possibility of a short circuit. There was no extreme dryness over the past few days. This is a very serious incident,” Betzer told the Ynet news site.
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A spokesman for the Nof HaGalil Fire Station said that four teams were required to fight the “huge fire.”
The fire was eventually brought under control Saturday afternoon.
Ben Barak headed up the Knesset’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee under the Lapid-Bennett government.
Born and raised in Nahalal, he served for five years in the IDF’s famed Sayeret Matkal special forces unit. He then joined the Mossad, where he worked for 27 years, including as the agency’s deputy director between 2009 and 2011.
He then served in several key posts, including as director-general of the Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Ministry, before joining Yesh Atid.