Palestinian city names street after Chavez

(JTA) – A street in the West Bank city of al-Bireh was named for the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Al-Bireh Mayor Fawzi Abid made the announcement over the weekend during a visit to the Venezuelan embassy in the city to offer condolences for Chavez’s death, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.

Chavez, who ruled the South American country for 14 years, died March 5 following a long battle with cancer.

“Chavez’s death is a loss to the whole world, and to the Palestinian people in particular, because Chavez was a great supporter of Palestinian rights,” the mayor said, according to Ma’an.

Venezuela severed ties with Israel following Israel’s three-week Gaza operation that began in late December 2008, expelling the Israeli ambassador and staff. In May 2010, following a deadly Israeli Navy clash with a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine Turks dead, Chavez called Israel a “genocidal state” in a national broadcast and said the Mossad was trying to kill him.
 

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