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February 16, 2012 1:29 pm

Fatal Jerusalem Bus Crash Brings Israelis and Arabs Together

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Respondents help in the aftermath of Thursday's fatal crash in Jerusalem. Photo: Hatzalah.

A head on collision between a school bus carrying Palestinian children and an oncoming truck killed 8 people on Thursday in Northern Jerusalem, and injured 40.

The bus was traveling from Shuafat but had turned around due to slippery roads and overall poor weather conditions, when it was hit.

The first response from United Hatzalah – an Israeli EMS organization – included Israeli and Arab volunteers.  By the time they arrived, the bus was already engulfed in flames.

Injured passengers on board the bus were taken to Hadassah Mount Scopus and Hadassah Ein Kerem hospitals in Jerusalem, where Murad Alian of Hatzalah is assisting in translating for the families of the victims.

“I was in the emergency room and I saw the badly burned children from the bus. It is a horrible scene and brings back sad memories,” he said in a statement.

United Hatzalah Dispatcher Ariel Ben David was among the first to respond to the scene, where he contacted the IDF and border control for assistance with the injured.

“When I reached out to take a fire extinguisher from one of the Palestinian passers by, I knew that while he may generally view me as a settler, at that moment, he viewed me as a fellow human being committed to saving the lives of the Palestinian children.”

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