Wildfires rage near the occupied Alquds, prompting evacuations (Videos)

Scores of Israeli firefighters have been deployed to tackle two major forest fires that broke out in the hills near Alquds (Jerusalem) on Wednesday. Hundreds of people were evacuated.

Almost 800 people, were ordered to leave their homes as the flames approached. The fires also prompted the closure of some roads and highways, and Israel Railways briefly halted services on the high-speed line between Alquds (Jerusalem) and Tel Aviv.

A session of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial, currently underway in Jerusalem, ended earlier on Wednesday due to the blaze.

A pall of thick black smoke hung over the city, with the authorities advising those with heart and lung diseases, as well as the elderly, children, and pregnant women, to stay indoors.

All the firefighters in Jerusalem were mobilized to contain the wildfires, with their colleagues from other parts of the country also called in to help. Some 70 crews, ten planes, and two helicopters were deployed for the operation.

The fire service announced later on Wednesday that the blazes were no longer a threat to homes in the area, but it said they have not yet been fully contained.

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