EFEJerusalem

The wildfires that have engulfed parts of northern and central Israel for five days were now under control, the Israeli police spokesman told EFE on Sunday.

Micky Rosenfeld said situation was now manageable but that aerial firefighting efforts were ongoing in the areas most affected by the blaze.

The spokesman said on Sunday there were no major fires to be reported but that airplanes were continuing to dump water on areas like Haifa as a preemptive measure.

Some 80,000 Haifa residents were evacuated from the city on Thursday when flames spread close to the urban area.

Local media reported that around 1,600 apartments were damaged by the fire in this northern Israeli city, 500 of which were rendered inhabitable.

The wildfires in the West Bank Palestinian territory had also been brought under control, confirmed fire department spokesperson Nael Azzh, adding that no new fires had broken out on Sunday.

"Yesterday we only attended 35 fires in the Nablus area, a significant reduction compared to the 133 incidents on Thursday and the 143 on Friday. Today it was not necessary to send firefighters," Azzh told EFE.

Israel Nature and Parks Authority told the daily "Haaretz" newspaper that two thousand hectares of land had been damaged by fire.

Israeli officials said many of the fires were intentional acts of arson, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dubbing it a "wave of incendiary terrorism."

Similarly, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Saturday said Israel was facing a new type of terrorism and called for the demolition of houses belonging to the perpetrators.

Some 23 arson suspects remained in police custody on Sunday, the majority of whom were Arab Israelis, said Rosenfeld.

Foreign helpers involved in the firefighting operation included the Palestinian National Authority, Spain, Turkey, Russia, Croatia, Italy, the United States and Greece.