Israel’s weeklong heatwave was set to peak on Wednesday and Thursday, with temperatures rising to a scalding 42°C (108°F) in some areas and high levels of humidity near the coast.
Temperatures were expected to hit highs of 36°C (97°F) in Jerusalem, 34°C (93°F) in Tel Aviv, 40°C (104°F) in Beersheba, 42°C (108°F) in Tiberias and 43°C (109°F) in Eilat.
The heatwave began Sunday and was expected to continue throughout the week.
Saturday was set to see a slight drop in temperatures but a rise in humidity, especially in the coastal region.
The Health Ministry urged Israelis, particularly the elderly and those with chronic conditions, to avoid excessive sun exposure and to drink large amounts of water.
Its health advisory also noted that face masks to protect against COVID-19 are not required outdoors.
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority called on Israelis to avoid lengthy hikes starting Sunday for 10 days, citing the dangerously hot weather.
It also underlined the ban on lighting fires in national parks.
A large brushfire broke out Tuesday on the outskirts of Jerusalem close to a number of residential homes, which forced the evacuation of dozens of families.
Fire and Rescue Commissioner Dedi Simchi said that human action rather than the weather was likely to blame for the blaze, but that there was no doubt the conditions had accelerated the fire.