Israel approves $13.4 million plan for fire trucks as northern Israel burns

Nearly 15,000 acres of land in the Upper Galilee and Golan Heights have been burnt in wildfires sparked by Hezbollah rocket barrages.

By Pesach Benson, TPS

The Israeli government on Sunday approved a proposal to purchase around 200 fire trucks for northern communities.

The 50-million-shekel ($13.4 million) plan would see the purchase of 40 vans and 150 all-terrain vehicles to be deployed with volunteer firefighting teams.

Nearly 15,000 acres of land in the Upper Galilee and Golan Heights have been burnt in wildfires sparked by Hezbollah rocket barrages in 2024, according to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

The authority noted that 75% of the damage took place during the first two weeks of June.

Around 60,000 Israelis living in northern communities were forced to evacuate in October when the Hezbollah terror organization began daily rocket and drone attacks. Leaders of the Iran-backed terror group have said they will continue the attacks to prevent Israelis from returning to their homes. Since October 7, the Hezbollah attacks have killed 10 civilians and 14 soldiers.

Israeli officials have been calling for Hezbollah to be disarmed and removed from Southern Lebanon in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

Read  Biden administration urges Israel to tone down response to Hezbollah aggression in bid to avert wider conflict

Meanwhile, the government also extended the stay of evacuees from Gaza border communities in state-funded hotels and guest homes. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, which announced the move, 70% of the residents who evacuated 20 towns and agricultural communities have already returned to their homes.

“As part of the decision, the directorate will regulate the format to determine the return dates for communities to their homes, in coordination with the Finance Ministry and in consideration of the security and rehabilitation conditions,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.

At least 1,200 people were killed, and 252 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the 116 remaining hostages, more than 30 are believed dead.