Netanyahu Thanks Abbas For Help Battling Blazes Across Israel

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In this handout photo provided by the Israel Government Press Office (GPO), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the funeral of former Israeli leader Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016 in Jerusalem, Israel. World leaders and dignitaries from 70 countries attended the state funeral of Israel's ninth president, Shimon Peres, in Jerusalem on Friday, after thousands of Israelis paid their last respects to the elder statesman who died on Wednesday. (Photo by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO via Getty Images)
TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday evening for Palestinian assistance in battling wildfires that have raged throughout the country since Tuesday, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate their homes.  The Palestinian Authority sent 40 firefighters and eight fire trucks to help douse the fires, alongside firefighting equipment sent by Israel’s neighboring Arab allies. The prime minister also told Abbas of his appreciation for the cooperation between Jews and Arabs on the ground, many of whom opened their homes to those in need of temporary shelter. Jordan and Egypt joined Croatia, Turkey, Italy, Russia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and the U.S. in the firefighting efforts, sending trucks and helicopters. The Muslim-majority nation of Azerbaijan announced over the weekend that it sent BE-200CS amphibious aircraft to Israel. The solidarity came as a welcome counter to multiple reports alleging that many of the fires were nationalistically-motivated arson and the celebratory battle cries sweeping Arabic-language social media in which “Israel is burning” became the highest trending hashtag in recent days. “Fire doesn’t distinguish between Jews and Arabs,” Member of Knesset Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint Arab List party, said Thursday. Opposition leader Isaac Herzog also showed his
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byDeborah Danan || Image Credit

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