Palestinian security in Bethlehem, the epicenter of coronavirus in Palestine, last night held a solidarity gesture with Italy, the hardest hit European country with the deadly coronavirus pandemic, said witnesses.
Several members of the Palestinian security raised the Palestinian and Italian flags at Manger Square outside the Church of Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, as church bells were sounded and candles were lit with the words “Forza italia”, or “Power Italy”, in a show of solidarity with corona-afflicted Italy.
Rami Asakrieh, head of the Greek Catholic parish at the Church of the Nativity, said “this humanitarian gesture reflects the greatness of the Palestinian people and their noble stand with other peoples because they are suffering from the corona pandemic as is Italy.”
“Today,” he added, “members of the national security and on behalf of the Palestinian people send a message of solidarity from the Nativity to its counterpart, the Vatican, to affirm the strength of their bilateral relations and a genuine gratitude from Palestine for Italy’s support of the Palestinian people in their struggle over the years.”
“Our people today affirm the fact that this pandemic will not find its way in this holy city, the cradle of Christ, and its surrounding cities, towns, villages and refugee camps, and that Bethlehem will triumph over this pandemic, as Italy will inevitably triumph over it,” he added.