The first case of coronavirus was reported in a Bethlehem refugee camp, sparking concerns over the potentially devastating effects an outbreak could have an overcrowded and underserved camp.
Since the coronavirus outbreak began on March 5th, Israeli forces have arrested 357 Palestinians, among them 48 minors and four women.
At a time when Palestinians would usually be flooding the markets doing Ramadan shopping and hanging festive lights outside their homes, the streets are empty, and the usual excitement and anticipation has been replaced with an air of sadness.
WhoProfits: “The COVID-19 global public health emergency has given rise to heightened forms of surveillance in the name of public safety. The experience of controlling, repressing and surveilling an occupied population has long been at the core of the so-called ‘Israeli advantage’ in the Homeland Security market.”
Palestinians are being overwhelmed with joy and sadness as Easter holidays and the beginning of Ramadan, times of celebration and togetherness, are being spent under quarantine.
There is growing concern among Palestinian activists and ordinary citizens that, while they are being forced to stay at home, Israel is working harder than ever to steal their land, and enforce President Trump’s Deal of the Century.
Israeli media reported on Monday that Netanyahu and Gantz agreed on a plan to begin formally annexing parts of the West Bank, as early as this summer. “The coronavirus pandemic has been the biggest gift to Netanyahu,” Palestinian political analyst Dianna Buttu told Mondoweiss. “If there’s any time to go forward with annexation, it’s now, when everyone is focused on something else.”
Israel is expected to ramp up its efforts to test for the coronavirus inside its Palestinian communities, after widespread outcry from rights groups condemning the government for ignoring the country’s Arab population amid the global pandemic.
In the midst of a global pandemic, when much of the world is sheltering in homes, Israeli forces have continued to raid Palestinian cities and towns, arrest and imprison Palestinians, demolish homes and tear down structures, and facilitate attacks carried out by settlers.