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An epidemiologist’s view of COVID-19 in Palestine

Rob Lipton on

Due to the Israeli occupation, the inability for Palestinians to deploy medical resources as needed; to properly organize the population per the requirements of social distancing and rational quarantine; and to properly track and test people, will predictably result in excess serious illness and death, above and beyond what might occur in a less obstructed scenario.

In the midst of global pandemic, Israeli occupation thrives

Yumna Patel on
Palestinians inspect three houses demolished by Israeli forces in the village of Rummaneh, in the West Bank city of Jenin, on April 01, 2020. (Photo by Oday Deybes/ WAFA)

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.

Progressives are calling for U.S. sanctions on Iran to be lifted amid COVID-19 crisis, but Biden says he doesn’t have enough information yet

Michael Arria on
Screenshot of Joe Biden's brief address to the American Jewish Committee, June 2, 2019.

“Would you lift sanctions on Iran temporarily, during this pandemic,” NBC’s Chuck Todd asked Joe Biden on Meet the Press. “I don’t have enough information about the situation in Iran right now,” replied Biden, “There’s a lot of speculation from my foreign policy team that they’re in real trouble and they’re lying. But I would need more information to make that judgement. I don’t have the national security information available.”

Israeli military confiscates Palestinian field clinic for virus victims — B’Tselem’s ‘shocking’ report

Kate on

“As the whole world battles an unprecedented and paralyzing healthcare crisis, Israel’s military is devoting time and resources to harassing the most vulnerable Palestinian communities in the West Bank that Israel has attempted to drive out for decades. Shutting down a first-aid community initiative during a health crisis is an especially cruel example of the regular abuse inflicted on these communities.” –B’Tselem reports on the destruction of a field clinic in Khirbet Ibziq in the occupied Jordan Valley.

Warren, Van Hollen lead Senators in demanding Trump admin send aid to Palestine amid COVID-19 crisis

Michael Arria on
Elizabeth Warren (Photo: Flickr)

“Given the spread of the coronavirus in the West Bank and Gaza, the extreme vulnerability of the health system in Gaza, and the continued withholding of U.S. aid to the Palestinian people, we are concerned that the Administration is failing to take every reasonable step to help combat this public health emergency in the Palestinian Territories,” reads the letter. It was lead by Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), but was also signed by  Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Coronavirus cases spike in West Bank as laborers return from Israel

Yumna Patel on

The number of coronavirus cases in Palestine jumped from 62 to 91 in just two days. The main cause is that thousands of Palestinian laborers have been ordered to return to the West Bank from Israel. Thousands of workers are now expected to flood back into the West Bank, raising concerns over how well the PA will be able to deal with the influx of potential virus carriers.

Watch: Yumna Patel on the coronavirus outbreak in Palestine

Mondoweiss Editors on

Mondoweiss Palestine correspondent Yumna Patel joined Phil Weiss and Dave Reed to give an update on the coronavirus outbreak in Palestine. Yumna is based in Bethlehem, the epicenter of the outbreak in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu, forever! Gantz abandons his opposition

Philip Weiss on
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz

Israel’s year-long political stalemate appears to be over. Netanyahu was saved by coronavirus and racism. The virus made him popular. Racism stymied Benny Gantz’s efforts to form a government with Palestinian support.

Palestinians report first coronavirus death in the West Bank

Yumna Patel on
Closed shops in the West Bank city of Nablus, which is under a home confinement order as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), March 25, 2020. (Photo: Shadi Jarar'ah/APA Images)

The first Palestinian has died from the novel coronavirus in the occupied West Bank, officials announced on Wednesday. The victim was identified as a woman in her 60’s from the Biddu village, north of Jerusalem in the central West Bank.

Holding our breath in Bethlehem as springtime passes us by

Yumna Patel on
Abandoned streets and shuttered businesses near Manger Square in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, one day after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in the city. March 6th, 2020, Yumna Patel/Mondoweiss

The tail end of March and beginning of April is often regarded as the most beautiful season in Palestine. But this year, residents of Bethlehem mourn the passing of spring in quarantine, as the city-wide lockdown enters into its fourth week.

Human rights groups call on Trump administration to end Iran sanctions amid COVID-19 crisis

Michael Arria on
U.S. President Donald Trump making the announcement that his administration is pulling out of the Iran Deal. (Screenshot: YouTube)

Last week, over 25 groups called on the Trump administration to end its sanctions on Iran amid the COVID-19 crisis. The virus has been particularly calamitous for Iran: at the time this piece was written the country had 21,638 confirmed cases and 1,685 people had been killed by it. U.S. sanctions have no doubt worsened the situation, as they’ve weakened Iran’s economy and thus made it more difficult to secure goods.

Even as Palestinians battle pandemic, they are tormented by occupation

Kate on

Even as Palestinians battle the coronavirus, the occupation takes its toll. Israeli soldiers killed a 29-year-old man allegedly for throwing rocks, and injured more than 200 other Palestinians in the last two weeks. While settlers assaulted a farmer and vandalized cars in West Bank villages, and raided the plaza of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Fears rise as two COVID-19 cases confirmed in besieged Gaza Strip

Yumna Patel on
A Palestinian worker wearing protective gear disinfects streets as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus, at al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City on March 16, 2020. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA)

On Sunday, the first two cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed in the besieged Gaza Strip, home to over 2 million Palestinians. According to the health officials in Gaza, the two patients had recently traveled back to Gaza from Pakistan through the Rafah crossing, and were immediately put into quarantine upon their arrival.