(Illustration)Israel Police

Israeli police have arrested a total of 37 suspects in connection with the recent wave of fires across Israel over the past week, a police spokesperson said on Sunday.

More than 200 hundred fires were sparked over the past week across Israel, with the Internal Security Ministry estimating that about half were the result of arson.

Some 85,000 residents of Haifa were force to flee their homes, along with hundreds of residents in Zichron Yaakov, Atlit, Neve Tzuf (Halamish), Beit Meir, Nataf, and other towns around Israel. More than 400 homes were destroyed in Haifa, along with dozens more across the country.

Of the 37 suspects arrested during the investigation, 24 remain in custody, while 13 have been released. Among those still in custody, 18 are Israeli Arabs, two of whom have admitted to lighting fires.

Police say that they are currently investigating 233 cases of arson in connection with last week’s fires. Forty-five files have been opened on possible arsonists, while another five have been opened against individuals suspected of incitement to arson. Of those now being investigated for Facebook incitement, two are Arabs and three are Jews.