Photo Credit: Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90
Masked PA security forces in Bethlehem block the entrance to the city. March 8, 2020

A Christian Israeli initiative is assisting residents of Bethlehem and tourists quarantined at a hotel following the outbreak of Coronavirus in the city.

The Jerusalemite Initiative and Shai Fund NGOs have teamed up to deliver medical supplies, gloves, masks, and snacks to Bethlehem, located on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem.


The supplies were brought following a call for help by the Bethlehem Christian community, as the city was hit by the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

“Troubled times also bring opportunities to build bridges. By our actions, we are expressing our solidarity with the residents of Bethlehem and we pray that the coronavirus crisis will pass as soon as possible, allowing humanity to return to normality,” a statement by the Jerusalemite Initiative read.

The Jerusalemite Initiative was established in 2018 and describes itself as a non-profit organization “empowering Arabic-speaking Israeli Christians of all denominations who are proud of belonging to Israel” and helping them integrate into Israeli society. They cooperate with the Shai Fund, an NGO that provides humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Twenty-six people have officially tested positive for coronavirus in the Palestinian Authority-governed areas (PA) of Judea and Samaria, 25 of whom are in Bethlehem.

On Tuesday, TPS exclusively revealed how the situation in the PA has turned “hostile” towards foreigners, with tourists and workers from abroad being verbally abused, spat at and accused of “bringing Corona to Palestine.”


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TPS - The Tazpit News Agency provides news from Israel.