Israel’s Tel Aviv lights up with Lebanon flag
The colours of the Lebanese flag lit up the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on Wednesday in solidarity with the country following Tuesday’s deadly blast in Beirut. It was a rare show of support from Israel for a country with which it is technically still at war.
The flag was projected onto the walls of Tel Aviv’s City Hall, which overlooks Rabin Square, on Wednesday night, on the orders of the city’s mayor.
"Humanity precedes any conflict, and our hearts are with the Lebanese people in the wake of the terrible disaster that befell them,” mayor Ron Huldai said on Twitter.
Most passers-by in Tel Aviv seemed to support the expression of solidarity.
"It's a very kind thing to put this flag on this building. I like to watch it. I think that the citizens seem to care about the things that happen in the world and not just here in Israel,” Tel Aviv resident Eylom told Reuters.
However, not everyone was pleased to see the Lebanese flag on Israeli soil, including Israel's minister for Jerusalem affairs and a member of the far-right Jewish Home party Rafi Peretz.
"It is possible and necessary to provide humanitarian aid to civilians who were hurt in Lebanon, but waving an enemy flag in the heart of Tel Aviv is moral confusion," Peretz wrote on Twitter.
Israel deems the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah as one of its biggest threats and the two sides fought a month-long war in 2006 that killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, many of them civilians, and 160 Israelis.
But Israel has also been among numerous countries to offer Lebanon aid after Tuesday’s blast.
"A very great disaster occurred yesterday in Lebanon. We are ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Lebanon, as human beings to human beings,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday.
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