Israeli police say an American tourist has died while hiking during a heatwave in Israel on a trial leading to the ancient Jewish desert fortress of Masada.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says the 20-year-old woman from Florida fell about 5 meters (about 16 feet) at the site of Masada on Tuesday, one of the hottest days of the year. He says the fall was not the cause of death but that the woman suffered dehydration after the fall, which then led to her death.

Other hikers noticed she had gone missing and her body was found after an hour.

Her name was not immediately released while Israeli authorities contact her family.

Israel is experiencing a heat wave that sparked fires around the country earlier this week.