Why Arson was suspected in Fire at Offices of Israeli Human Rights & Peace Group B’Tselem

Nir Hasson | Haaretz | (Video News Report) | – –

Update: N.B. an investigation by the Jerusalem fire brigade appears to have concluded that an electrical wiring fault was responsible for the fire at the offices of B’Tselem. Initial reports by Haaretz and others, as below, suspected arson. The reason is that a school with which B’Tselem is associated was the victim of suspected arson last year, and the organization has received threats from the right wing. The suspicions were false in this case, but they show how nervous the Israeli left is given substantial actual provocations from the far right.

“B’Tselem’s office after the fire, January 10, 2016
Credit: Fire and Rescue Services
For the full article at Haaretz.com: . . .

Arson Suspected in Fire at B’Tselem’s Office Building in Jerusalem

One lightly wounded; building also houses the offices of ‘Hand in Hand,’ the organization behind the bilingual school targeted in a 2014 arson attack.

Nir Hasson

A fire broke out on Sunday evening in a building that houses the office of human rights group B’Tselem, in Jerusalem’s Makor Haim neighborhood. The fire department said they suspect an arson was the cause of the fire.
Firefighting crews rescued a person who was trapped on the fourth floor of the building, a fire department spokesperson said. The person was lightly wounded from smoke inhalation and evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem.

B’Tselem’s offices were empty when the fire broke out, around 10:00 P.M. The spokesman said that the fire was contained around 11:00 P.M. The fire department reported that there were two centers of combustion, both on the first floor where B’Tselem’s offices are housed. Most of the damage from the fire occured at B’Tselem’s office.”

Haaretz.com: “B’Tselem’s office after the fire, January 10, 2016 – Credit: Fire and Rescue Services”

One response

  1. A fire investigator has revised the original arson suspicion to a probable faulty electrical circuit as the cause of the blaze.

    However, many right-wing Israelis had initially accused B’Tselem of staging an arson attack against itself for political gain. One was a spokesman for the conservative Otzma Yehudit political party.

    Some “witnesses” even reported B’Tselem workers were removing B’Tselem’s mailbox and other equipment from their office shortly prior to the fire.

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