Israeli peace village residents fearful after two fires
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Israeli peace village residents fearful after two fires

Neve Shalom - or Wahat al-Salam in Arabic - has been a 'model for coexistence between Israeli Jews and Arab-Palestinians for over 40 years'

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Burnt chairs at the Neve Shalom library
Burnt chairs at the Neve Shalom library

Residents of a village fostering Israeli-Palestinian coexistence are “living in fear”, after a second fire devastated their community in the space of a week.

Members of the Neve Shalom cooperative near Jerusalem were woken by a fire alarm on Sunday, as emergency services were called to battle flames at the Fred Segal Peace Library.

This comes after a destructive blaze damaged the Oasis of Peace school last week, which was forced to relocate.

Israeli police are said to be working with the local community to determine the causes of both blazes.

Oasis of Peace UK, which supports Neve Shalom – or Wahat al-Salam in Arabic – said it has been a “model for coexistence between Israeli Jews and Arab-Palestinians for over forty years”.

Its residents are now “living in fear that it is being targeted.”

Inside the school devastated by the blaze

A spokesperson added: “Firefighters and police responded quickly and the fire was put out. The library has sustained damage and several pieces of art in its Oasis gallery have been destroyed.”

Oasis of Peace UK’s vice chair, Laurence Brass, said everyone involved “is devastated by this latest fire. We are awaiting further information from the authorities. Meanwhile, our biggest current concern is the safety and well-being of our friends and colleagues in the village. A shining example of peaceful coexistence is now feeling extremely vulnerable and it is essential that the residents are provided with proper support and security to prevent any further incidents.”
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