Palestinian Arabs living in the towns and villages south of Jerusalem usually stone and hurl firebombs at passing Israeli vehicles, so it was with a bit of surprise that the passengers of a burning Israeli passenger bus received assistance from a Palestinian rescue crew on Wednesday.
The bus was traveling near the Judean town of Efrat and the neighboring Etzion Bloc of Jewish settlements when a mechanical failure caused the vehicle to catch on fire. All passengers were safely evacuated, and a first response team from the nearby Jewish settlements was quickly on the scene.
Moments later, a Palestinian rescue team also arrived and helped put out the blaze and treat any minor injuries.
A Palestinian civil defense official told the Bethlehem-based news agency Ma'an that a local Palestinian reported the fire, and the rescue team continued providing assistance even after learning the victims were Jews out of "humanitarian obligations."