The Qalqilia Office of Civil Defense was called up this morning to extinguish a large fired that had broken out in the town, near the Israeli Wall. According to eyewitnesses, the Civil Defense workers tried to coordinate the control of the fire with Israeli soldiers, who were of no help.


The Civil Defense Office told PNN Wednesday that workers first tried to ask the Israeli soldiers to help provide water. The Israelis refused and stated that such an action would require a political decision.

Next thing residents knew as fire burned around them, Israeli soldiers occupying the West Bank began checking the firefighters’ identity cards, impeding their ability to access and control the fire. In total, it took the Qalqilia workers over two hours of continuous work to extinguish the fire.

The Israeli Wall, known to many as the Apartheid Wall, has separated more than 8,000 square kilometres of agricultural land, including that on which the fire occurred, from the Qalqilia residents that own and farm it. Before the Wall, this land provided a source of livelihood for hundreds of Qalqilia families.