The ship departed last Friday from Al Harish in Egypt, where the children had been taken after crossing the Rafah border. Welcoming them at the dock on Monday, 5 February, were the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, and the Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land, Father Ibrahim Faltas, who has been involved in the project from its inception, coordinating with Egyptian, Palestinian, and Israeli institutions to overcome various logistical challenges.
Italy’s ‘best face’
Father Faltas expressed both joy and sadness, stating, “It is a day of great joy for the success of this operation, but also of deep sadness to see the miserable conditions in which these children have arrived. Some of them are in truly serious condition, and ambulances immediately transferred them to the nearest hospitals that are taking part in the operation: the Meyer in Florence and the Gaslini in Genoa.
“Once again, Italy has shown its best face and its commitment to humanitarian aid, and for this, I want to thank Minister Tajani, representing all, along with all the military and civilian authorities who collaborated,” Fr Faltas said.