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Tens of thousands evacuated as bush fires rage across Israel

    Up to 60,000 people have been moved out of their homes as fires spread across the country for a third day.

    There is a suspicion that some of the fires may have been deliberately started, perhaps motivated by political factors. Most, however, were caused by extreme wind gusts and drought.

    Russia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Croatia and Cyprus will send a total of ten planes to Israel to help fight the spreading fires.

    President Reuven Rivlin said that Israel would put on trial anyone who found to have started one of the blazes.

    “I am certain that when the investigation gets under way, it will not stop until we bring to justice those who set fires intentionally,” he said.

    The president also praised “the firefighters and security forces who are all working tirelessly to save lives, to control the fire, and return all of the residents to their homes.”

    A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had requested a Boeing 747 firefighting Supertanker from the USA and that it would arrive in Israel within 28 hours.

    The rash of fires is the worst since 2010, when Israel suffered the single deadliest wildfire in its history.

    Meanwhile, an Arabic Twitter hashtag largely rejoicing over the fires become the third most popular worldwide.

    The Arabic hashtag “Israel is burning,” was used in over 128,000 tweets as of Thursday afternoon.

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