Wildfires near Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank have forced hundreds to flee their homes, after mass evacuations in Israel and more than a dozen arrests, police said Saturday. Israeli and Palestinian firefighters, helped by foreign aircraft, have been battling dozens of bush blazes fed by drought and high winds that have seen tens of thousands of people evacuated.

Around 1,000 residents had to leave the Halamish settlement near Ramallah as 45 homes were damaged or destroyed by fire, a police spokeswoman said. Blazes were also reported near the West Bank settlements of Dolev, Alfei Menashe and Karnei Shomron, although there were no evacuations there. READ MORE