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March 29, 2020 6:58 pm

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Praises Israeli-Palestinian Cooperation on Coronavirus

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process. Photo: U.N. Photo/Loey Felipe.

The United Nations point man on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process praised coordination between the Jewish state and the Palestinian Authority on fighting the coronavirus, according to a statement issued over the weekend.

According to the international body, Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, made his comments during a phone conversation on Thursday with representatives of the Middle East Quartet, composed of the EU, Russia, the US, and the United Nations.

Mladenov briefed the representatives on the situation in Israel and the disputed territories during the call, with concentration on Gaza, where the disease could spread quickly as a result of high population density.

Israel maintains a security blockade of Gaza to prevent the ruling Hamas terrorist group from obtaining sophisticated weapons, but has been permitting the entry of large amounts of medical equipment into the enclave in order to combat the pandemic.

A UN statement released Friday described the cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians as “excellent.”

Hillel Neuer of the watchdog group UN Watch, which analyzes the UN’s often hostile attitude toward Israel, tweeted about the news, “World is now so upside down that the U.N. just issued a statement on Palestinians that does NOT condemn Israel.”

Cooperation against the coronavirus between Jews and Arabs in the region has been close and ongoing, and became world news last Wednesday when a photo showing two Israeli emergency workers — one a Jew, the other a Muslim — standing alongside their ambulance vehicle and praying in their respective traditions went viral on social media.

The image was shared by Nir Dvori, a journalist with Israel’s Channel 2 broadcaster.

“It’s possible,” Dvori commented in Hebrew above the image.

The photograph caught the attention of pro-Israel social media influencers, several of whom commented that there was no better depiction of the country’s democratic and multi-ethnic character.

“Caught on camera,” tweeted retired Israeli diplomat Daniel Carmon, “a praying interlude in the midst of a hectic day by #Jewish and #Muslim @Mdais paramedics who will later continue fighting #CoronaVirus together. Touching photo, isn’t it?”

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