'Italy Day' in Hebron as part of cooperation with Palestine

Held by Jerusalem consulate; Genoa mayor calls for recognition

28 January, 19:09

    Two young women stand beneath a huge Palestinian flag Two young women stand beneath a huge Palestinian flag

    (ANSAmed) - HEBRON, JANUARY 28 - Cooperation between Italy and Palestine in the fields of innovation, private sector development, environmental protection and relations between universities was the focus of 'Italy Day' held in Hebron on Wednesday ahead of the Milan Expo 2015.

    The initiative was organized at the Hebron Polytechnic University by the Italian consulate in Jerusalem. Participants included Genoa mayor Marco Doria and representatives of the Milan and Turin municipalities. Through the decentralized cooperation program 'Ali della Colomba' ('The Dove's Wings'), managed by the Italian foreign ministry alongside local authorities, some 60 plans have been implemented over the past ten years, including the flagship 'Technopark' project - a technological hub to provide modern services to industries in the city and serve as an incubator for start-ups, alongside a system for waste water treatment and renewable energy - in which all three of the Italian municipalities are involved. Consul General Davide La Cecilia noted that two healthcare facilities would soon be built in Dura and Hahlul in the Hebron district by the Italian Cooperation.

    Italy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) also have created a center for stone and marble in the Palestinian city.

    ''This collaboration,'' the diplomat said, ''is based on the longstanding friendship, transparency and sincerity between the Palestinian people and their Italian counterparts.'' La Cecilia noted the difficult situation in Gaza and said that the ''international community is fully aware that Palestinian institutions, which we are trying to consolidate, are well-placed for the establishment of a state.'' Genoa mayor Doria added that ''it is now necessary to recognize the Palestinian state as stimulus for the peace process''. ''My presence here,'' he said after highlighting the importance of the water management center in Hebron, ''is to show the attention Italy and its citizens give to the problems and rights of the Palestinian people.'' The Italian presence in the Palestinian city - in addition to the sizable one of carabinieri involved in the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), an unarmed force monitoring the situation between Palestinians and Israelis in the flashpoint West Bank city - has recently seen the addition of coach Stefano Cusin (also present at the event) after he took on the role of training Hebron's Ahli Al-Khalil football team.


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