World Bulletin / News Desk
Israeli firefighters have extinguished all the wildfires that have ravaged the country over the past week, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes, authorities said on Sunday amid ongoing controversy over the cause of the blazes.
"There are no active sites left," fire and rescue service spokesperson Yoram Levy told AFP. "Since last night it's pretty calm, we have no new activity."
Since Tuesday, Israeli firefighters had been battling wildfires throughout the country which on Thursday hit major city Haifa, forcing at least 60,000 people to evacuate their homes.
Firefighting planes from Israel and countries including Palestine, Russia, Turkey, Greece, France, Spain and Canada dumped tonnes of water and retardants on fires.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday telephoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to thank him for sending 41 firefighters and eight fire engines to join the efforts.
Israeli authorities suspect some were set deliberately and linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday 17 of 110 fires in the West Bank were so far determined to be arson, without elaborating.
Speaking at the Israeli settlement of Halamish, where dozens of homes were damaged at the weekend, he said Israel should respond to any arson by building more settlement homes.
Police have arrested 23 people suspected of setting fires and interrogated others.
AFP/Middle East Eye
Last Mod: 27 Kasım 2016, 20:54