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‘The situation is horrific’: Palestinians face coronavirus crisis at West Bank checkpoints

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UPDATE (3/23/2020)

On March 21, Israeli authorities announced a military closure of the West Bank and shut down all Green Line checkpoints used by West Bank Palestinians as a precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Due to that Israeli decision, Palestinian workers in the West Bank had two choices: 1) stay in the West Bank, or 2) cross and sleep in their workplaces inside the Green Line until further notice. Many workers were surprised by the Israeli decision and are deciding to climb the wall and cross the fence illegally to reach their workplaces.

Israeli citizens are exempt from the new movement restrictions.

Original Post (Published 3/16/2020)

Every morning, thousands of West Bank Palestinian workers commute to their workplaces in Israeli and Palestinian towns beyond the Green Line via Israeli military checkpoints.

Workers, who have to obtain military permits to cross, usually lineup in crowded, narrow metal-barred lanes at Israeli checkpoints before dawn. Due to the coronavirus spread, Palestinians are highly concerned about this daily journey.

At the time of publishing this video, 39 Palestinians and 255 Israelis citizens are reported to have been infected by the coronavirus.

Ahmad Al-Bazz

Ahmad Al-Bazz, born in 1993, is a multi-award winning journalist, photographer and documentary filmmaker based in the West Bank city of Nablus. Ahmad holds an MA degree in Television Studies from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, and a BA degree in Media and Mass Communication from An-Najah National University in Palestine. Since 2012, Ahmad has been a member of the Activestills documentary photography collective that operates in Palestine/Israel region.

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