Al-Qaeda linked Palestinian militant group ‘claims responsibility’ for devastating Haifa fires which have cost thousands of Israeli families everything

A firefighting plane drops fire retardant during a wildfire with the skyline of the Israeli city of Haifa in the background
A firefighting plane drops fire retardant during a wildfire with the skyline of the Israeli city of Haifa in the background
  • Palestinian Salafist group Ma’sadat al-Mujahideen has claimed that it was behind the blazes 
  • Blazes have spread to villages near Jerusalem and have destroyed properties leaving families with nothing
  • Police say 12 people have been arrested as Israeli PM labelled those who started the fires as ‘terrorists’  

An Al-Qaeda affiliated Palestinian militant group claims it was behind the devastating fires that forced more than 60,000 Israelis to flee their homes.

The Palestinian Salafist group Ma’sadat al-Mujahideen has said that it was responsible for the blazes in Israel’s third largest city Haifa.

Police said 12 people have been arrested in connection with the fires, which were said to have spread to villages near Jerusalem, as firefighters – some drafted in from Egypt and Jordan – battled to douse the flames.

The Haifa fires were ‘under control’ on Friday morning, but police cautioned that ‘things can change and develop as we speak.’

Terrorism monitors from the Jamestown Foundation told The Independent that the claims made by Ma’sadat al-Mujahideen were ‘questionable’, but added that the group was known to be fixated on using fire as a jihadist weapon.

Another group called ‘The Coalition of Intifada Youths’ also claimed responsibility for the fires on Thursday night.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3971074/60-000-Israelis-prepare-return-Haifa-thousands-families-lost-devastating-terrorist-fires-spread-villages.html