• ACRI

Burning Issue: Firefighting Services Beyond the Wall


Illustration
© Dmitriy Feldman | Dreamstime.com

On 17.8.2020 we appealed to the Fire and Rescue Service Commander in East Jerusalem. The appeal was made after earlier in the month, following a murder case in Kfar Aqab, apartments were set on fire in the neighborhood, including one in a multi-story building. Despite residents calling the Israeli fire services, the firefighters did not enter the neighborhood and seemingly waited at the barricade to be escorted by security forces. From collected testimonies and news publications, we discovered that the building residents rescued themselves with the help of other residents and the Palestinian Authority Fire Service, who put out the fire.


In the appeal, Attorney Tal Hassin mentioned that this is not the first instance when the Fire and Rescue Service fail to provide an immediate and effective response to fires in Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem beyond the separation wall. We demanded to know the policy of entry of firetrucks to neighborhoods beyond the wall, whether there is an instruction for them to wait until escorted by security forces, and if so - the coordination mechanism which most efficiently guarantees their entry into these neighborhoods.