The Board of Deputies has thanked and praised the Palestinian Authority for sending fire-fighting crews to Israel to save Israeli lives, in a letter written on behalf of the British Jewish community.

Senior vice-president Richard Verber wrote to Professor Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian ambassador in the UK, to express “sincere gratitude” after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent 41 firefighters and eight trucks into Israel to fight a series of blazes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had earlier thanked Abbas for offering his immediate help.

In the letter to Hassassian, Verber said: “On behalf of the Jewish community, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the Palestinian Authority for assisting Israel… Your assistance has undoubtedly helped to save lives and prevent further damage to the country’s infrastructure.”

He added: “It has been heartening to witness co-operation and goodwill between Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, during these difficult times. We hope that it will remind all of the need to continue dialogue for broader peace and coexistence.”