PA Minister: Israel deliberately slow
in saving Palestinian prisoners
from forest fire
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
On the day of the outbreak of the Carmel forest fire in northern Israel, 40 Israelis rushing to evacuate the prisoners in the Damon prison were burned to death in the fire. After this was announced, the PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners, Ziyad Abu Ein, accused Israel of not being concerned about saving the lives of the Palestinian prisoners and being intentionally slow in moving them away from the fire zone.
The following is the interview broadcast on PATV with Ziyad Abu Ein, PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs:
PA TV host: "Do you have information about the response speed of the Israeli Prison Service in transferring the female prisoners from the Israeli prison, or did they take their time and create a lag?"
Minister Abu Ein: "Yes, they created a lag and our [Palestinian] prisoners were endangered. Had there not been Israeli criminals or Jewish prisoners in this particular prison, it would have been even slower... If, Heaven forbid, this fire had been in the Negev, Nafha or Be'er Sheva prisons (for Palestinian security prisoners only, -ed.) there would have been an even greater danger, but the presence of hundreds of Israeli prisoners in this prison [Damon] spurred the ending [of the fire] and the evacuation of the prisoners. But still it was very slow."
[PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 2, 2010]