BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A coordination committee of the PLO and the office of the governor of Bethlehem organized a wake on Sunday for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Norway last week which killed nearly 80 people.
The wake took place at the Bethlehem Peace Center in Manger Square and delegations representing official and non-governmental organizations took part in expressing their condolences.
The Mayor of Bethlehem Victor Batarseh together with Deputy Governor of Bethlehem Mohammad Taha, Norwegian official Espen Lindbeck and representatives from several PLO factions, received the mourners.
The mayor of Bethlehem delivered a speech on behalf of Bethlehem municipal council condemning the terrorist attacks on government buildings and a youth camp.
He expressed condolences on behalf of the people of Bethlehem and highlighted that there had always been strong ties between the Norwegian and Palestinian people, noting that the Palestinian people had suffered and still suffered from "Israeli terror and suppression."
Several other Palestinian speakers condemned the attacks by Norwegian extremist Anders Behring Breivik who detonated a bomb in a government building in the center of Oslo before carrying out a murderous rampage at a youth summer camp on the Norwegian Island of Utoeya.
Espen Lindbeck thanked the Bethlehem governorate and the PLO for their good will initiative and for recognizing that terror knows no boundaries, language or identity.
He asserted that terrorist attacks would not force the Norwegian government to change its policies, but rather, would encourage it to embrace more openness and democratic values.