The Devastating Fires that Broke out in November in Haifa and Jerusalem are a Microcosm of the Horrifying Coming Years
By: George Kurzom
Exclusive to Environment and Development Horizons:
The fire phenomenon during Autumn and Summer is not solely confined to Palestine; but similar and larger forest fires often ignite in areas of the Mediterranean, such as Spain, Portugal, Greece, France in addition to California and Australia. In fact, during the same period that fires broke out in Palestine, forest fires also broke out in Jordan and Syria.
The extended heat waves and the significant decline in humidity percentage, as it was recently noted in Haifa, Mount Carmel, Galilee and Jerusalem, can lead to large fires due to flammable dry organic materials in the forests. In fact, the humidity percentage in Haifa during the fire period reached approximately 5-7%.
Contrary to the allegations of the right-wing Zionist Benjamin Netanyahu to cover up the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian environment and ecosystems, it is clear that there is no need for deliberate fire outbursts by Palestinians as first and foremost, this beautiful landscape of mountains, valleys and forests is purely Palestinian.
It is crucial to note that during recent years, various huge fires have erupted in different areas of Palestine such as the Jordan valley, Galilee and Golan and have burnt the green, the ground and destroyed the components of the Palestinian wildlife. This destruction of the natural landscape of Palestine and the outbreak of fires is mainly caused by the Israeli occupation and its rigorous military activities and trainings.
Recent research related to the expected temperatures and rain in Palestine estimate a continuous increase in the intensity and frequency of droughts and heat and thus calls for immediate rearrangement of national priorities, taking measures to adapt to climate change and improving national readiness to cope with huge fires.
In the book “The Risk City” by Professor Yousef Jabareen that focused on climate change and natural disasters in big cities, it was interesting to compare the recent fires in Haifa and Mount Carmel to those mentioned in the book and the map of Jabareen, confirming the accuracy of the researcher’s scientific analysis. The book also discussed the anticipated destruction in Haifa due to the continuous rise in sea levels in different parts of the world, which might lead to a “Tsunami “ and drown parts of the city.
The fires of Haifa and Mount Carmel that spread over approximately 50 thousand acres in 2010 and 41 thousand acres in 2016 are considered relatively small compared to the Australian, Russian, Greek and American lands that faced frequent and much larger fires. However, the firefighting in Haifa took more than a week with the help of 10 countries so it is not difficult to imagine the situation of this “major Israeli force” in the Arab region at the outbreak of a devastating war and the fall of hundreds of missiles daily that lead to huge fires, explosions and emission of dangerous gases.
Translated by: Ghadeer Kamal Zaineh