IN PICTURES: Fire ravages Israel

Photos illuminate the struggle against fires raging across Israel.

Fires rage across Israel. Video: Ariel Kedem, National Parks Authority.
MODI'IN, Israel - An easterly wind whipped up more forest and brush fires across Israel and the West Bank on Thursday, temporarily forcing the closure of a highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and a senior minister said he suspected many blazes were deliberate.
"Almost 50 percent of the fires are apparently arson," Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Army Radio, while Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the leader of a far-right party, suggested those who set them could not be Jewish.
Large fires were also burning within the boundaries of Haifa, Israel's third largest city, and residents were told to leave their homes.
Scroll down to view photos of the firefighting efforts across the country.
Magen David Adom responded across the country. (Photo: Magen David Adom)Magen David Adom responded across the country. (Photo: Magen David Adom)
 Fire in Umm el-Fahm (FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES) Fire in Umm el-Fahm (FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES)
A firefighting plane drops fire retardant during a wildfire, near the communal settlement of Nataf, close to Jerusalem November 23, 2016. (Reuters)A firefighting plane drops fire retardant during a wildfire, near the communal settlement of Nataf, close to Jerusalem November 23, 2016. (Reuters)
Planes fight fires in Haifa. (Eilon Lester, Ministry of Environment)Planes fight fires in Haifa. (Eilon Lester, Ministry of Environment)
Fires in Haifa, November 24, 2016 (AVSHALOM SASSONI)Fires in Haifa, November 24, 2016 (AVSHALOM SASSONI)
Fires Rage in Haifa (Courtesy Israeli Police)Fires Rage in Haifa (Courtesy Israeli Police)
A firefighting plane drops fire retardant during a wildfire, near the communal settlement of Nataf, close to Jerusalem November 23, 2016. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)A firefighting plane drops fire retardant during a wildfire, near the communal settlement of Nataf, close to Jerusalem November 23, 2016. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

A man checks the damage to a house during a wildfire, in the communal settlement of Nataf, near Jerusalem November 23, 2016. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)A man checks the damage to a house during a wildfire, in the communal settlement of Nataf, near Jerusalem November 23, 2016. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
A firefighter works during a wildfire, near the communal settlement of Nataf, close to Jerusalem November 23, 2016. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)A firefighter works during a wildfire, near the communal settlement of Nataf, close to Jerusalem November 23, 2016. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Israel has requested aerial firefighting support from Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Russia, police spokesman Rosenfeld said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Wednesday to his Croatian and Greek counterparts seeking help.
Turkey has also sent a plane to Israel, Netanyahu's office said on Thursday, bringing the total number of foreign aircraft supporting Israel's fire-fighting efforts to 10.
A firefighting plane from Greece fights a wildfire over a forest near Jerusalem November 24, 2016. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)A firefighting plane from Greece fights a wildfire over a forest near Jerusalem November 24, 2016. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)