Netanyahu thanks Abbas for sending firefighting crews

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for sending firefighters to assist in putting out massive fires throughout Israel.

Netanyahu made the call on Saturday night to Abbas, identified by his nom de guerre Abu Mazen in a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Palestinian Authority sent eight fire trucks and about 40 firefighters.

The Palestinian firefighters worked to tamp down fires in Haifa and along Route 1, the main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. They also helped put out fires in the West Bank settlement of Halamish, where dozens of homes were damaged or burned to the ground.

Twelve countries sent planes and firefighters to assist in putting out the fires.

The fires were by and large extinguished by Saturday night.