JERUSALEM, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Israeli President Reuven Rivlin talked over the phone with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about dealing with the novel coronavirus crisis.
The rare call came "in light of the coronavirus crisis and its effects on the region," a statement issued by the Israeli President's Residence said, adding it was the Israeli president who initiated the call to the Palestinian leader.
Rivlin told Abbas that the world "is dealing with a crisis that does not distinguish between people or where they live." He added that "the cooperation between us is vital to ensure the health of both Israelis and Palestinians."
"Our ability to work together in times of crisis is also a testament to our ability to work together in the future for the good of us all," Rivlin said.
The official Palestinian news agency of WAFA reported that Abbas "welcomed" the call for the coordination of efforts to halt the spread of the virus in the region.
At least 433 people have been diagnosed in Israel with novel coronavirus, according to the Israeli health ministry, while some 44 people have been diagnosed in the West Bank, according to Palestinian figures.