'List of Palestinian firefighters wasn't received in time'

Defense officials say Civil Administration had asked for details to issue permits for firefighters meant to be honored in Usfiya ceremony.

December 14, 2010 16:19
1 minute read.
Palestinian firetrucks arriving at Carmel fire

Palestinian firefighters 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

The Palestinian firefighters were denied permits to enter Israeli territory for an Usfiya ceremony to honor them for bureaucratic reasons, defense officials clarified Tuesday.

The Palestinians had contacted the Civil Administration on Monday night, and said that they would like to attend the Usfiya ceremony and were told to transfer a list of names for entry into Israel, according to defense officials.

Palestinian firefighters come to Israel's aide

The list was provided by the Palestinians early Tuesday afternoon, the defense official said, not leaving sufficient time to track each of the individuals on the list and enable them to cross into Israel for the ceremony.

The commander of the Palestinian firefighters told Israel Radio that he had received no explanation for the decision.

On Saturday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas honored the Palestinian firefighters.

“Our neighbors [Israel] faced a tragedy and it was our duty to do our humanitarian work toward our neighbors to protect the environment and human life,” Abbas had said in a ceremony in his office in Ramallah.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report

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