Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday sent condolences to the families of the Palestinian Authority Arab victims of the bus accident which occurred on Thursday north of Jerusalem.
Kol Yisrael radio reported that Netanyahu’s special envoy for negotiations with the PA, attorney Yitzchak Molho, telephoned the office of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and offered his condolences on behalf of Netanyahu to the victims’ families. Netanyahu reportedly also offered Israel’s assistance to the PA should it require any.
Nine PA school children and a teacher were killed in the accident, which occurred when a PA bus carrying children collided head-on with a truck driven by an Israeli Arab man. As a result, the bus overturned and caught fire.
Israeli first response teams worked alongside the PA to rescue as many victims as possible. Both MDA and Red Crescent ambulances brought some of the injured children to Israeli hospitals in Jerusalem.
Kol Yisrael reported that as of Friday afternoon, 13 people who were injured in the accident were still hospitalized in four Israeli hospitals. One of them was in critical condition and three were listed in serious condition.
On Thursday, Abbas said that no one is responsible for the accident, which occurred due to bad weather conditions.
Abbas’ remarks came after the PA’s Minister of Health accused Israel of being responsible for the deaths in the accident. The minister said Israel did not immediately provide assistance to the wounded.
Deputy Health Minister Ya'akov Litzman rejected the claim, and called the PA minister’s remarks “misplaced lies and incitement.”
“Medical and rescue teams rushed to the scene of the accident and administered the required assistance without hesitation,” said Litzman. “Some of the victims received and are still receiving the best medical care at our hospitals in Israel. Human life has no limits and no politics.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)