“These are sad days for Italy,” declared President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, in remarks at Hebrew University on Mount Scopus on Sunday.
Referring to the earthquake in Italy, Mattarella thanked Israel for its words of solidarity and said: “Municipalities with much history, with great architectural charm, rich in monuments and daily life have been damaged, and in August there were many victims. In the coming months and in the next few years, Italy is and will be committed to rebuilding these municipalities as they were.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Israel stands ready to provide Italy with emergency aid in the earthquake-stricken area.
“I would like to say to my friend, the Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, Israel is prepared to send aid to the best of its ability,” Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.
Netanyahu also welcomed President Mattarella, noting that Israel “appreciates the strong and clear statement that we heard from Italy on many issues important to us.” Italy was one of the 26 countries that abstained in the October 13 UNESCO vote that denied the Jewish connection to Har HaBayis.
Renzi told Netanyahu that saying the Jewish people has no connection to Yerushalayim is like saying the “sun creates darkness,” and he promised that Italy would work to convince other EU countries to oppose such resolutions in the future.