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Palestinian Authority Helps Israel Extinguish Wildfires in Jerusalem Hills
Palestinian Authority firetrucks on their way to the fires in the Jerusalem hills. (Ranin Ibrahim)

Palestinian Authority Helps Israel Extinguish Wildfires in Jerusalem Hills

Massive wildfires that ravaged Israeli communities in the hills west of Jerusalem for more than two days, burning 6,000 acres of forest, have now been extinguished, in part with the help of four fire trucks and 20 firefighters on loan from the Palestinian Authority. “I want to thank the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, for his initiative to send the firefighters who came to help Israel today. Mutual solidarity and saving lives are in our common interest,” Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz tweeted in Arabic on Tuesday. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had considered seeking help from abroad to battle the blaze, but it was not necessary, thanks to the Palestinian Authority’s offer of assistance. It’s not the first time Israeli and Palestinian firefighters have joined forces, but such cooperation elicits inevitable criticism from more radical elements in both societies who would rather burn than build bridges between the two sides.

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