Israeli-Arab MK accuses Netanyahu of 'racism' during string of fires

Joint List leader calls on Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to open an investigation into the PM on the matter.

December 5, 2016 17:39
1 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Joint List MK Ayman Odeh on Monday accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of perpetuating "racism."

Odeh stated that he and his party blamed Netanyahu for allowing alleged racism to run rampant during the recent string of fires around the country. At the time, some right-wing members of Knesset suggested  that the blazes were terror-related.

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"Everyone knows that there wasn't a wave of terrorism, there wasn't a 'fire intifada,'" Odeh charged. 

He claimed that although the terror claims had been disproven, still "thousands of Jews incited against Arabs and called for them to be murdered...not even one of them has been investigated."
Wild fires wreak havoc across Israel

"The real danger for the State of Israel is not toward the Palestinians in the West Bank, but toward the Arabs living inside Israel," Odeh said.

He further charged that the claims of suspected arson behind the fires were "making a mountain of what is less than a molehill."

In addition, Odeh called on Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to open an investigation into Netanyahu on the matter.

Less than two weeks since flames tore across the country’s North and Center, arson investigators remain hard at work.

“In most areas you won’t find many things that say whether it was arson,” Ran Shelef, the Fire and Rescue Authority’s chief fire investigator, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “In other cases like Halamish, we can say that it is arson.”

Shelef said the authority has found evidence of arson in four areas: the Galilee, the broad area from Umm el-Fahm to Betar Illit, the West Bank and the central region. Investigators have not, however, determined the cause of the fires in Haifa. Police have declined to comment on ongoing investigations and do not publicly confirm the authority’s comments.

Meanwhile, police have said that they are treating 29 out of the 39 most serious fires as arson or suspected arson; that is out of 1,773 brush fires that broke out across the country from November 18 to 26.

Police have arrested 39 suspects and released 29 unconditionally, according to Channel 2.

Lahav Harkov and Eliyahu Kamisher contributed to this report.

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