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Suspected arson attack near Jerusalem military base

Police footage shows figure setting fire to bushes, fleeing toward East Jerusalem neighborhood; authorities say fire was third incident in two days in area

Security footage shows arson suspect fleeing area near Ofrit military base outside Jerusalem after bushes catch fire, May 14, 2016. (Channel 2 screenshot)
Security footage shows arson suspect fleeing area near Ofrit military base outside Jerusalem after bushes catch fire, May 14, 2016. (Channel 2 screenshot)

Authorities suspect that a brush fire near Jerusalem on Saturday that tore through dozens of acres of land was deliberately set.

Police released footage showing a male figure disappearing for a few moments into some bushes near the Ofrit military base and Hadassah Hospital in Mount Scopus, before fleeing in the direction of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya.

The footage (Hebrew), aired on Channel 2 Saturday night, shows the bushes catching fire after the suspect leaves the area.

Four firefighting teams battled the blaze, preventing its spread to the base and to the Mount Scopus area.

According to Channel 2, it was the third blaze in two days in the same area. The TV channel further reported that Saturday’s fire was the seventh suspected arson attack nationwide over the past week.

On Thursday, eight firefighting teams and four planes were deployed to battle a fire close to the entrance to Jerusalem. Due to weather conditions, the fire had spread quickly in the direction of the Ramot neighborhood of the capital.

 

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