Israel firefighters say all fires extinguished

AFP , Sunday 27 Nov 2016

Firefighters extinguished blazes ravaging Israel and West Bank settlements that forced tens of thousands to flee their homes and saw more than 20 people arrested, authorities said Sunday.

"There are no active sites left," fire and rescue service spokesman Yoram Levy told AFP. "Since last night it's pretty calm, we have no new activity."

Israeli firefighters had since Tuesday been battling wildfires throughout the country which on Thursday hit major city Haifa, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes.

Firefighting planes from Israel and countries including Russia, Turkey, Greece, France, Spain and Canada dumped tonnes of water and retardants on fires.

Palestinians had joined the efforts, sending 41 firefighters and eight trucks.

The Israeli authorities suspect that some of the fires may have been of criminal origin and linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Police arrested 23 people suspected of lighting fires and interrogated another seven.

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