Carmel Fire 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)
The State Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday that it has ordered the
criminal investigation into the Carmel fire to be closed due to lack of
sufficient evidence to bring the two suspects to trial.
suspected that two youths aged 13 and 14 from the Druse Usfiya village near
Haifa had deliberately caused the blaze last December, in which 44 people
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Among the victims were 37 prison service cadets and their
commanding officers, who died when their bus was engulfed by flames. The fire
also caused widespread damage to land and property, totaling millions of
shekels. An estimated 1.5 million trees were destroyed in the fire.
spokesman for the State Attorney’s Office said in a statement late Thursday
afternoon that the decision had been made after a thorough investigation, which
had reviewed all the evidence police had gathered since the investigation was
The State Attorney’s Office concluded that it was not possible to
determine with sufficient certainty the precise course of events that caused the
“Severe legal and evidential problems,” including the fact
that the victims died several hours after the fire started and at a large
distance from the original source of the blaze, also led to the decision to
close the file, the statement said.
The Haifa District Attorney’s Office
notified the victims’ families on Thursday morning that the case had been
Navah Boker, the widow of Lior Boker, a police commander killed
in the fire, criticized the decision as “saddening and outrageous.”
was quoted by Army Radio as saying that the decision damages “the ability to
deter young people from negligent behavior involving fire.”Jerusalem
Post staff contributed to this report.