A fire that erupted early Thursday morning in a Jerusalem
apartment occupied by Eritreans
left two people moderately injured.
Firefighters who were alerted to the scene said evidence suggests the blaze was the result of arson, and police investigators are looking into the possibility that incident was yet another hate crime targeting African
The fire erupted at around 3 am in an apartment located on Bibas Street in the Mahaneh Yehuda market.
Medical officials said one one Eritrean occupant sustained burns to his limbs and a pregnant woman was burned and also suffered from smoke inhalation. Both were evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital for treatment.
"Paramedics who were dispatched to the scene found a man of about 40 who suffered third-degree burns to his limbs, as well as a 24-year-old pregnant woman with second-degree burns to her legs," said Magen David Adom spokesman Zaki Heller.
Firefighters said an initial investigation suggests the fire was caused by arson.
"The fire had already died down when we arrived, but we found some rags soaked in fire accelerants at the entrance to the apartment," firefighter Kobi Levy said. "This is why we suspect the blaze was the result of arson.
About a month ago another Jerusalem apartment occupied by Eritreans was torched,
leaving four migrants wounded. The words "Get out of the neighborhood" were spray-painted on the apartment building, and a local store owner said the landlord had received threats.
"They told him that if he refuses to seal the building, they'll burn it down," he said. "The tenants were living in sub-human conditions."