Illustration Fire Department

Police arrested eight individuals believed to be responsible for some of the hundreds of fires sparked across the country over the past three days.

The eight are suspected of operating across northern Israel, setting multiple fires in the midst of a long dry spell, that, along with strong winds, has made for rapid spreading of blazes around the country.

Prior to the series of fires which broke out in Haifa on Thursday – and are also believed to be the result of Arab arson – buildings across the Galilee and in Atlit and Zichron Yaakov were damaged.

In Haifa, more than 85,000 residents have fled their homes, with eight neighborhoods fully evacuated.

Of some 200 fires recorded over the past three days, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said it was estimated that roughly one half were deliberately set by Arab arsonists.

Police Chief Roni Alsheich announced during a press briefing Thursday afternoon that a number of arrests had already been made in connection with the wave of arsons across the country.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared the arsons acts of terrorism, and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"Every fire caused by arson, or incitement to commit arson, is terrorism for all intents and purposes, and we will bring them to justice.”

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