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Palestinian firefighters help to battle Jerusalem-area blaze

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire near moshav Givat Ye'arim, near Jerusalem, on August 16, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire near moshav Givat Ye'arim, near Jerusalem, on August 16, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Palestinian Authority firefighters are assisting Israeli firefighting forces in battling the flames blazing in the areas surrounding Jerusalem. Four firefighting trucks and 20 firefighters and rescue workers have already joined the efforts to put out the flames that have been raging in the hills and towns west of Jerusalem since Sunday.

Senior PA Foreign Ministry official Ahmad al-Deek confirms the story to The Times of Israel.

“Although we, unfortunately, don’t possess firefighting airplanes, we often work together with the Israelis on snuffing out fires,” adds al-Deek. A spokesperson for the Palestinian Civil Defense could not immediately be reached for comment.

Israeli and Palestinian firefighters regularly perform joint training exercises, such as a 2019 training session in Jenin. During previous destructive wildfires — such as a series of 2016 fires near Haifa and Jerusalem — Palestinian firefighters also joined the fray.

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