Jihadist Forum Monitor (JFM) – 3 December 2010
On 3 December 2010, a communiqué – also dated 3 December 2010 – was released by the Palestinian jihadist group, Ma’sada al-Mujahidin, claiming responsibility for starting the forest fire in Mount Caramel, south of Haifa in northern Israel on 2 December.
According to media reports, the fire broke out about midday (1000 GMT) on Thursday, 2 December, and is believed to have started in an illegal landfill site.
The communiqué states that the fire is part of a series of operations ‘which, God willing, will destroy the palaces of the aggressor Jewish occupation’, and that it was also in retaliation for slain militants, particularly former senior Jaish al-Islam (JI) figure, Muhammed al-Namam, amongst others.
Al-Namam was reportedly killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip on 3 November 2010.
Following his death, the JI released a statement confirming al-Namnam’s death, saying he was killed after being targeted by the Zionist enemy’s planes’.
It added: ‘The Jaish al-Islam considers Muhammed Jamal al-Namnam as a martyr, and may God consider him among the martyrs’.
On 3 December, Israeli authorities announced that police had arrested two individuals suspected of being involved in the fires. The men are reportedly in their 30s and are residents of Daliat al-Carmel.
The al-Ma’sada communiqué also boasts that the fire has so far claimed over 40 victims and displaced numerous residents in the area.