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Abbas compares Palestinian fire aid to helping an enemy

     "President Abbas yesterday awarded a certificate of appreciation to the commander of the [Palestinian] Civil Defense, Ahmed Rizq, [and] to the non-commissioned officers and members of the general administration of the Civil Defense, in appreciation of their humanitarian efforts in participating in putting out the fires which broke out at Mount Carmel in Haifa and in the neighboring villages. During the reception which he held at the Presidential Residence in Ramallah for commander of the Civil Defense, Ahmed Rizq, for the officers and members of the Civil Guard who participated in putting out the fires in the Carmel, the President said: 'You have done a great deed, and in humanitarian instances such as this we do not linger in carrying out our humanitarian obligation.' The President [Abbas] added: 'Our human history shows that we have not tarried in carrying out our humanitarian obligation, just as the [Muslim] leader Saladin [who conquered Jerusalem] sent his physician to treat his enemy, Richard the Lion-Hearted, who led the invasion of our country and conquered it.' He continued: 'A catastrophe befell our neighbors, and it was our obligation to perform this humanitarian act for our neighbors, to save the environment, and to save human life.' The President emphasized that the Palestinian people does not tarry in carrying out its humanitarian obligation towards the whole world, whether this activity [takes place] within Israel or elsewhere, within the limits of its abilities."
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Note: In December 2010, a major forest fire broke out in northern Israel. The PA sent fire-fighters and equipment to help contain the fire, drawing mixed reactions among Palestinians.

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