JERUSALEM, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Tel Aviv Municipality Hall, a landmark in the central Israeli city of Tel Aviv, was illuminated on Tuesday night with the colors of China's national flag, showing solidarity with China in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Dozens of Israelis and Chinese gathered on the Rabin Square in front of the Tel Aviv Municipality Hall, vowing support and praying for Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic and capital of central China's Hubei Province, as well as for China itself.
Traditionally, the Tel Aviv Municipality Hall has been illuminated to commemorate current or historical events.
Despite a cold wave striking Tel Aviv, people from both Israel and China showed solidarity, waving the national flags of the two countries and shouting "Wuhan, stay strong" and "China, stay strong" in Chinese and Hebrew.
Jonathan Baram, an Israeli resident living in Tel Aviv, came to Rabin Square ahead of the event.
"I have been following China's anti-epidemic fight recently through newspaper, television and social media. I came here to express my sympathy and support to my Chinese friends. We stand here with China and the Chinese people," Baram told Xinhua.
Duan Zeyuan, a 22-year-old Chinese student studying at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, came to Tel Aviv from Herzliya, an adjacent city, to join the event.
"I hope that the epidemic can be controlled and ended soon and everything is fine," said Duan.
The Tel Aviv Municipality, the organizer of the event, expressed its solidarity with China on Twitter, saying "the Municipality hall is lit tonight with the colors of the Chinese flag in solidarity with those affected by the coronavirus. We appreciate the efficient way with which China is dealing with the situation and send our best wishes for a speedy recovery for everyone in need."
"China and Israel are friends and Tel Aviv has sister cities including Beijing in China. A friend in need is a friend indeed. We will do whatever we can to help China to fight against the epidemic," said Eliav Blizowsky, director of International Relations with the Tel Aviv Municipality.
Many Israelis from all walks of life have backed China on the anti-epidemic fight in various ways.
Since the novel coronavirus outbreak, Raz Galor, a young Israeli entrepreneur and founder of a China-oriented online video startup, has worked with his team to collect nearly 1 ton of medical supplies to ship to Hubei, including more than 100,000 masks.
"I have been living in China since I was 13 years old. China is my second home," Galor told Xinhua.
Galor also expressed his confidence in China's proactive response and management of the situation.
"We are now looking for more medical supplies in Israel, as well as adjacent countries like Turkey and Egypt, hoping to make another donation as soon as possible. Helping the people in need in China will be the most wonderful thing in my life," he added.
Dai Yuming, charge d'affaires ad interim at the Chinese Embassy in Israel, also attended the event. He said that since the outbreak of the virus, the Israeli government and people have expressed to the embassy their sympathies and support for the Chinese people's efforts in combating the epidemic.
"We want to express our sincere appreciation to them," Dai said. "With the solidarity of the Chinese people and the support from the international community, we will finally win the fight against the epidemic."