An Israeli fire academy recently trained Palestinian firefighters in new methods to fight fires in buildings and cars.
By United with Israel Staff
On Tuesday, the Israel Fire and Rescue Academy in Rishon Letzion trained Palestinian firefighters on new methods to battle fires. About 20 Palestinian and Israeli firefighters took part in the training.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), an Israeli governmental branch largely responsible for relations with the Palestinians, explained in a statement that the training covered rapid rescue from blocked areas and novel strategies to fight fires in buildings and cars.
Additionally, Palestinian Authority Civil Defense chief Yousef Nassar met with Israel Fire and Rescue Services head Dedi Simchi at Simchi’s office on Sunday. at the meeting, the officials addressed “future cooperative activities” and “innovations in the field of firefighting,” COGAT said.
In March,Times of Israel reported that joint Palestinian and Israeli firefighting and rescue exercises took place in Judea and Samaria. The firefighters extinguished simulated fires in four locations using six Israeli firefighting airplanes, six Israeli firetrucks and two Palestinian firetrucks.
That exercise was part of about a dozen joint training sessions over the year. Lt. Col. Saleem Saad, a defense official in Jenin, spoke highly of the exercises, according to COGAT.
“What’s so important about these exercises is improving the knowledge and fitness of both Israeli and Palestinian firefighters in the Judea and Samaria region,” he said at the time. “We will continue to train these firefighters with the goal of saving lives across the region.”
Though Palestinian firefighters have helped Israel battle major fires, like the devastating 2016 fires that destroyed or damaged homes in Haifa and the Jerusalem foothills, Israel’s southern region continues to suffer from arson terror stemming from the Gaza Strip.
For well over a year, terrorists from the Gaza Strip have sent incendiary kites and balloons into southern Israel. This arson terror has caused irreparable damage to Israel’s southern region, especially to Jewish farmers.
According to the Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF,) there have been at least 1,124 such fires, which have burned at least 11,036 dunams of land (roughly 2,700 acres) to date.
In June alone, KKL-JNF Western Negev Forester Moshe Baruchi reported that KKL-JNF firefighters dealt with more than 25 fires in a week’s time, with 13 of them occurring in a single day, on June 25.
According to the statement, an official in the Defense Ministry said that the Palestinian and Israeli firefighters will continue to “take action to strengthen and improve [cooperation], with the clear goal of saving lives together.”
Hopefully, the goodwill and camaraderie developed through joint training can dampen extreme elements in Palestinian society promoting terror and violence.
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