Photo: Roi Weiss

Firefighters refuse to put out blaze in Palestinian field

Defense officials accuse firefighters of refusing to come to West Bank thistle field owned by Palestinians after settlers set it on fire. Firefighters deny claims, say men were waiting for IDF escort into A Territories

Sources within the defense establishment accused a team of firefighters on Monday of refusing to put out a fire set by settlers to Palestinian lands in the West Bank out of ideological reasons.


The firefighters denied the accusations however, and said the delay was due to security reasons as they are not permitted to enter Palestinian territory without a military escort.


Earlier today settlers set fire to a field of thistles near the settlement of Havat Gilad outpost as part of a new policy intended to exact a 'price' for the dismantling of illegal outposts. No arrests have been made in the suspected arson.


Israeli and Palestinian firefighters were alerted to the scene.


According to the defense officials, an Israeli fire truck refused to put out the blaze, and the firefighters told them explicitly that "they do not put out fires on Palestinian land." The officials, enraged by the reports, told Ynet that "in these cases you can't mix ideology and politics, every outfit must do its duty."


But Jackie Binyamini, spokesman for the Judea and Samaria firefighters, rejected the claims outright. "There was no such thing. Fire trucks do not enter A Territories before they have an IDF escort. A unit was waiting right there for the army to escort it," he said.


The IDF however says that an escort unit had arrived and was waiting for the firefighters, who were delaying.


פרסום ראשון: 06.01.09, 18:01
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