For the second day, firefighters continued to battle wildfires in northern Israel, which have caused injuries and evacuations in a wide region between Haifa and Jerusalem. Israeli media reported that homes have been destroyed in the northern town of Zichron Ya’akov near Caesarea and surrounding areas, forcing families to flee without any belonging and with nowhere to go.
Immediately The Fellowship responded by assessing the needs of these desperate families in Zichron Ya’akov and preparing to issue an emergency grant to help them with temporary accommodations, food, clothing, and other basic necessities. The Keren L’Yedidut (The Fellowship’s Israel office) also has been in contact with Gilad Erdan, Mayor of Zichron Ya’akov, and others to assess what else might be needed to help those displaced by the blaze.
The fires, including areas just west of Jerusalem near Latrun, are being blamed in part on the heavy winds and a two-month drought in Israel that have left much of the region dry and vulnerable to any open flame or spark. In December 2010, wildfires during a similar dry season consumed thousands of acres of property in the Carmel Forest area near Haifa, claiming the lives of 40 people, including prisoners and prison guards trapped on a transport bus by the flames.
Following that devastating fire six years ago, The Fellowship released emergency funds totaling some $3 million to help schools and residents in the area and for the purchase of much-needed fire-fighting and first-responder vehicles for that rural area of Israel.
Thank you for making this lifesaving help possible!