Israel — Two men arrested Friday afternoon on suspicion of arson in northern Israel were not linked to the country’s massive bushfires, according to National Police Commissioner David Cohen.
The two, from the Druze town of Daliyah al-Carmel, were arrested after they were reportedly spotted throwing a Molotov cocktail into a forest close to the bushfire, raging since Thursday.
Cohen told journalists that, while there had been a number of suspected arson attacks in northern Israel, the cause of the main bushfire, which broke out on the Carmel hill which borders the port city of Haifa, was still unknown.
He said, however, that the fire had one ignition point, and he hoped that by Saturday it would be possible for investigators to determine whether the cause was negligence or premeditated arson.
Cohen said that, since the fire broke out shortly before noon Thursday, some 17,000 people have been evacuated from 14 locations threatened by the blaze.