Fires have broken out across the country in recent days - common during Israel's summer heat

Firefighters battled wildfires raging to the west of Jerusalem throughout Wednesday, with 11 aircraft and 29 response teams deployed.

At the time of publication, the fires are ongoing with the blaze approaching homes in Yad HaShmona and Abu Gosh, and residents evacuated from the kibbutz of Ma'ale HaHamisha.

The blaze is understood to have started in two separate locations, near the towns of Neve Ilan and Abu Gosh, The Jerusalem Post (JP) reported.

Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more

Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens

Disruptions from the ongoing incident have forced the closure of a number of roads and highway interchanges, and halted travel on the main rail line between Jerusalem and Ben Gurion Airport, JP reported. 

The fire spread widely beyond its initial starting point after only 30 minutes, Efrat Shelef-Tobol, deputy director-general of the Yad HaShmona hotel, told KAN news.

In recent days a number of wildfires have occurred around the country, a seasonal danger in Israel

In 2019 wildfires in Israel were so severe that support was sent from overseas, with aircraft and rescue teams sent from Egypt, Cyprus, Italy, Greece and Croatia.

Fires were reported in the vicinity of Jerusalem, in the south and north of the country, as well as in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the West Bank, JP reported. Read more at i24