Visitors Now:
Total Visits:
Total Stories:
Profile image
By Independent Media Review Analysis (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

PMW: Mixed official Palestinian reactions to fires in Israel

Monday, November 28, 2016 14:57
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

PMW Bulletin
Nov. 28, 2016

Mixed official Palestinian reactions to fires in Israel
by Itamar Marcus

Last week, over hundreds of fires in forests and cities raged across Israel,
aided by strong winds and extremely dry weather conditions. 560 homes were
destroyed along with 30,000 dunams (7,400 acres) of national park lands. In
all 130,000 dunams (32,000 acres) of natural forests and brush were
destroyed. Many countries sent assistance to Israel and the Palestinian
Authority sent 8 fire trucks and 40 firefighters to assist in battling the
flames.

Israeli police reported that many of the fires were started by arson and 23
people – most of them Israeli Arabs, the rest Palestinians – were arrested
as suspects.

There were a range of reactions from official Palestinian Authority sources,
which included:

Support for the decision to help extinguish the fires as a humanitarian
gesture (Head of PA Civil Defense Forces)

Accusing Israel of racism for reporting that many fires were started by
Arabs (PA Foreign Ministry, official PA daily)

Denying Israel’s existence: “What is burning are our [Palestinian] trees and
our historical Palestinian land” (Fatah)

Israel’s difficulty with the fires is sign of weakness and that “nakedness
of the Israeli death state has been exposed.” (Op-ed in the official PA
daily)

Israelis will now emigrate – seeing Israel’s weakness in firefighting and
since the “Israeli Jew does not adhere to the land” (Op-ed in the official
PA daily)

Accusation that Israelis started some of the fires – “Extremist groups of
settlers [set the fires] in order to complete their takeover of these
areas.” (PA Foreign Ministry)

Allah is punishing Israel (Fatah-Lebanon)

Acknowledgment that Israel expressed thanks and credit to Palestinians for
helping publicly and widely (Official PA daily)

Criticism of Israel for supposedly not publicly expressing thanks and credit
to Palestinians (PA Foreign Ministry)

1 – Support for the decision to help extinguish the fires as a humanitarian
gesture (Head of PA Civil Defense Forces)

“Secretary-General of the Palestinian [PA] Civil Defense Yusuf Nassar
expected that the teams that the State of Palestine sent to assist in
putting out the fires in Israel would return today (Saturday) [Nov. 26,
2016].
Nassar told [the official PA daily] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida: ‘The Palestinian
assistance is an ethical act, and it is given in accordance with the global
law of civil defense, according to which every country in the world that is
dealing with a natural disaster can request assistance from the countries in
the region and from its neighbors.’ He emphasized that the civil defense
teams responded positively, and that they have the skills and ability to
provide active assistance.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 26, 2016]

2 – Accusing Israel of racism for reporting that many fires were started by
Arabs

“The [PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: ‘Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and the heads of his coalition took advantage of the
current wave of fires in Israel to launch an offensive of statements and
positions contaminated by racism and full of hatred against the Palestinians
and Arabs, while accusing them of being behind [the fires].’
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified yesterday in a statement: ‘These
accusations were directed even before any investigations were launched. This
is part of an inciting and racist systematic Israeli policy, to which the
right and extremist right are turning in an attempt to falsely accuse the
Palestinians of ‘the sabotage and terror,’ to divert attention from the
internal problems that Netanyahu and his coalition are dealing with, and to
increase the extremism in Israeli society and broaden the circle of
supporters of the right within Israel.’”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 28, 2016]

Headline: “An evacuation of tens of thousands from the city of Haifa as a
result of the fires, and senior Israeli officials light the fire of racism”
“The Israeli incitement has reached such a level that the [Israeli news]
website Yediot Aharonot chose ‘The Fire Intifada’ as a main headline for
many hours, and afterwards replaced it with a headline no less foolish -
‘The Israeli Security Agency is Investigating: Fire Terror.’ The incitement
was not only on a news website, but rather included most of the Israeli
media. What stands out in the announcements and leaks to the Israeli media
is the talk not only about perpetrators but rather also about those who are
termed ‘inciters’ to arson (i.e., several Palestinian suspects have been
arrested for calling for arson attacks on social media).”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 25, 2016]

3 – “What is burning are our [Palestinian] trees and our historical
Palestinian land” (Fatah)

Headline: “Fatah: What is burning are our trees and our historical
Palestinian land” them
“In a statement it published today, the Fatah Movement emphasized the
Palestinian identity of all the Palestinian trees and stones that are
burning right now, which are part of our historical Palestine. The statement
warned the Israeli government not to take advantage of this event in a way
that serves it by accusing Palestinian bodies of standing behind the fires.
Head of the Information Committee of the Fatah [Mobilization and
Organization Commission] Munir Al-Jaghoub said that [Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin] Netanyahu’s government must clearly understand the sanctity of the
Palestinian’s belonging to his land and trees.
The statement warned against… the irresponsible responses on the social
networks, which include meanings and content as if the Palestinians are
dancing over the flames that are spreading within Israel. The statement
called on everyone to show historical responsibility and not to use language
and terms that are far from the historical heritage and from the Palestinian
right to the land that faces fires in the Interior (i.e., Palestinian term
for Israel).”
[PNN, independent Palestinian news agency, Nov. 24, 2016]

4 – Israel’s difficulty with the fires is sign of weakness and that
“nakedness of the Israeli death state has been exposed.” (Op-ed in the
official PA daily)

Excerpt of an op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, regular columnist of the
official PA daily

Headline: “The fragility of the [Israeli] home front”
“The fires that are spreading in the greater part of historical Palestine
(i.e. Israel) upon which arose the Israeli colonialist state – have exposed
the collapse of the status of the State of Sparta (i.e., Israel, implying
violence and militarism).
This is not the first time that the nakedness of the Israeli death state has
been exposed. The fires have exposed the fragility of the [Israeli] home
front and the helplessness of the state that is armed to the teeth with a
military arsenal that surpasses its demographic capabilities. Several years
ago (i.e., 2010), when the fires broke out on Mount Carmel in Haifa, it
became clear that the [Israeli] Civil Defense Forces have become weak and
are unable to carry out the minimum that is demanded of them and that they
are charged with. And now, for three days Israel has been witness to a long
series of fires – 220 in number – throughout the length and breadth of the
land, which have been focused in Haifa and Tel Aviv (sic., Haifa and
Jerusalem have been major centers)… An emergency situation has been
declared… In an attempt by the Israeli government to calm the anger in the
Israeli public, [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, the Israeli
Security Agency, and the minister of public security claimed that to some of
the fires there is a ‘deliberate nationalist background.’ All those
pretending have forgotten that the members of the Palestinian Arab people
throughout the land view historical Palestine (i.e., Israel) as their land,
and its mountains, valleys, straits, and coasts as theirs. In addition, they
constitute a portion of the residents living [throughout] the length and
breadth of the land, and this portion, which is firmly rooted in the land of
the forefathers, is also suffering from the fires – and not only the Israeli
Jews…
Every political or security observer who will analyze [the situation]
objectively will easily discern that Israel is a most fragile and weak
state, whose home front suffers from a deep structural defect, which is in
no way consistent with its Spartan military structure.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 27, 2016]

5 – Israelis will now emigrate – seeing Israel’s weakness in firefighting
and “Israeli Jew does not adhere to the land” (Op-ed in the official PA
daily)

Excerpt of an op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, regular columnist of the
official PA daily

“Exposed was the weakness of the home front, which apparently is unfit for
this kind of simple coping with the flames, not to mention with a large
number of rockets…
Some Israelis will turn to the option of reverse migration as a result of
the sense of a lack of personal security – not only as a result of war
operations (i.e., terror attacks), but also due to a lack of Israeli
internal guarantees. This is particularly because the Israeli Jew does not
adhere to the land, and is interested in [national] belonging only because
of his personal interests.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 27, 2016]

6 – Accusation that Israelis started some of the fires – “Extremist groups
of settlers [set the fires] in order to complete their takeover of these
areas.” (PA Foreign Ministry)

“It [the Foreign Ministry] noted that the fires in the West Bank broke out
in places that from the outset were marked as targets by the occupation and
the settlement enterprise, and which are constantly subjected to repeated
attacks by the settlers – which testifies to Israel’s intentions to get its
hands on those places, and helps to link the fires in the West Bank with the
daily attacks by the settlers and the occupation army.
The ministry added: ‘Likewise, this strengthens the assumption that some of
the fires that broke out in the West Bank were deliberately set by people in
extremist groups of settlers in order to complete their takeover of these
areas.’”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 28, 2016]

7 – Allah is punishing Israel (Fatah-Lebanon)

Fatah in Lebanon said the fires were divine punishment on Israel for its
banning outdoor loudspeakers from religious institutions during the
nighttime:

Text in image: “They banned [the sounding of] the call to prayer
‘And never think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do’ [Quran,
Surah 14:42, Sahih International translation].
Israel at this moment is going up in flames”
[Falestinona, website of Fatah's Information and Culture Commission in
Lebanon, Nov. 24, 2016]

8 – Acknowledgment that Israel expressed thanks and credit to Palestinians
for helping publicly and widely (Official PA daily)

Headline: “Netanyahu calls the [PA] president and thanks him for the
participation of the [PA] Civil Defense teams in putting out the fires -
Israelis: We are talking in Hebrew mixed with Arabic and fighting [the
fires] through a common language”
“[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas received a phone call last night from Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who thanked him for the participation of
the Palestinian [PA] Civil Defense teams in putting out the firesthat broke
out in several areas within the Green Line (i.e., Palestinian term for
Israel; the Green Line is the ceasefire line between Israel and the
neighboring Arab countries, 1949-1967)…
The Palestinian Civil Defense [Forces] were welcomed in the Interior (i.e.,
Palestinian term for Israel) after they volunteered to assist in putting out
the fire, and pictures of the Palestinian firefighters, who numbered
approximately 40, were published while they were still fighting the fire
alongside Israeli firefighters.
Israelis wrote on social media that they appreciate the humanitarian act
that the Palestinians did, and said that they were brave men…
Coordinator of Israeli Government Activities [in the Territories Maj. Gen.]
Yoav Mordechai praised the Palestinian firefighting teams. Other Israelis
expressed thanks to these men, who are endangering their lives…
Council heads of Arab towns and many Arab citizens extended a hand in aid of
the needy Jewish residents in the areas harmed by the fire, and primarily
Haifa, as tens of thousands of residents were evacuated from their homes due
to the spread of the fires to many neighborhoods in the city…
Photographer and producer Oren Rosenfeld… joined the teams in an attempt
to document the cooperation between the Palestinians and Israelis, which was
meant to save the city from the fire. He is filming a documentary film on
the subject.
He said that at the moment the cause of the outbreak of fires does not
matter, nor does whether it is intentional or not. He noted that the most
important thing is to fight the fire and continue to work to put it out in
cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian firefighters. ‘At the moment we
are working alongside the Palestinians, there are four Palestinian fire
trucks here,’ and he added: ‘We are talking in Hebrew mixed with Arabic, and
fighting the fire through a common language. Therefore, at this time we are
not interested in the cause of the outbreak, and we are trying to put it out
together!’
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in the official Twitter account ‘Israel in
Arabic’: ‘Your neighbor is your relative. Many thanks to the Egyptians for
sending two helicopters, to Jordan for the fire trucks for putting out the
fires, and to the PA for eight fire trucks.’
The Israeli Foreign Ministry shared an additional tweet from [Israeli]
Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, in which he posted pictures of the efforts
to put out the fires and said: ‘The Palestinian firefighters are working
together with the Israeli firefighters in Haifa in order to assist in
putting out the fires.’”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 27, 2016]

9 – Criticism of Israel for supposedly not publicly expressing thanks and
credit to Palestinians (PA Foreign Ministry)

“The Palestinian [PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that despite the
historical injustice that the Palestinian people has experienced, its modest
means, its great suffering because of the Israeli occupation and its
abominable acts and its [Palestinian] constant need for someone to stand by
it, aid it, and give it a hand, our people did not hesitate to contribute to
the efforts to put out the fires in Israel… The statement added:
‘…senior [Israeli] officials chose to respond in a lowly and inappropriate
way to the Palestinian participation, in an attempt to erase the
humanitarian role fulfilled by the State of Palestine before the world.’
In the statement it was noted that the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
published a statement on its social media pages, in which it thanked the
countries that participated in the efforts to put out the fires. However, it
did not thank the State of Palestine, and did not put its flag next to the
flags of the participating countries and the countries that offered aid, and
just made do with a marginal reference at the bottom of the page to ‘aid
from the PA’… It finished by saying: ‘The appreciation of the entire world
is enough for us, and living in peace with ourselves is enough for us.
However, the international community needs to be more assertive in dealing
with the Israeli opportunism, which jumps on the Palestinian land and
threatens to increase the illegal settlement in response to a natural
disaster.”
[Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, Nov. 28, 2016]

Note: The Facebook post the PA was complaining about thanked countries for
sending airplanes and added at the bottom: “Ground assistance received also
from the Palestinian Authority.” As shown in the previous article, the
Israeli government went out of its way to publicly express thanks to the PA.

Report abuse

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories

Register

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.