Palestinians irked at perceived lack of Israeli thanks for firefighting efforts

PA Foreign Ministry expresses its indignation over what it perceived as Israel's lack of expressed appreciation for Palestinian firefighters.

November 28, 2016 14:26
1 minute read.
Palestinian firefighters help to put out fires in Israel

Palestinian firefighters help to put out fires in Israel . (photo credit: Courtesy)

The Palestinian Authority was reportedly irked that it did not receive what it saw as a proper response from Israel thanking its firefighters for their efforts to battle raging blazes across the country in recent days.

“Palestine’s decision to assist in efforts to extinguish the fires in Israel was conducted in line with their humanitarian principles, rules and obligations, and not with the expectation of receiving thanks from the Israeli government,” the PA Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The PA sent eight fire trucks and about 40 Palestinian firefighters to join efforts in extinguishing fires in Haifa and the Jerusalem Hills.

However, the PA expressed its indignation over what it perceived as Israel expressing gratitude to the various countries that offered firefighting assistance, except for the Palestinians.

On Sunday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry published a social-media post in which it thanked all the foreign counties that came to Israel’s aid during the past week’s outbreak of fires.

The Palestinians mentioned that while they were mentioned in small print at the bottom of the infographic, the image portrayed countries such as the US, Greece, France, Turkey and more than a dozen others with colorful illustrations of planes and their respective flag.

“The message was disgraceful and does not properly represent the participation of the Palestinian firefighters,” the PA ministry said.

MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint List) sent an inquiry to the Foreign Ministry asking why the PA received credit only in the fine print.

“This is an attempt to diminish the humanitarian role of the Palestinian state in the world,” the PA ministry said.

Despite the PA’s grievances, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night made a rare call to express gratitude to PA President Mahmoud Abbas for sending fire trucks and firefighters to battle the blaze.

The Palestinian statement on Monday also implored the international community to “be assertive and not allow Israel to manipulate a natural disaster in order to control more Palestinian land.”

Jerusalem Post staff and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

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