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

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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

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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

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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.

Dispatch from Bethlehem: A glimmer of hope after two weeks under lockdown

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A Palestinian man holds up a peace sign after being released from quarantine in the Angel Hotel. 17 COVID-19 patients from Bethlehem were announced to be in recovery on Friday, March 20th, 15 days after the outbreak in the city began. (Photo: Mustafa Bader, Facebook)

Mondoweiss correspondent Yumna Patel lives in Bethlehem, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Palestine. As the crisis continues to develop, Yumna paints a picture of what daily life looks like in the city, the emotions of the people, and her own personal thoughts and fears. 

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Trump administration has slapped new sanctions on Iran

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Iran has confirmed 16,169 COVID-19 cases in its country and 988 deaths. The virus’s crushing impact on Iran has no doubt been compounded by the United State’s sanctions, which have been devastating for the country’s economy. Many have called on sanctions to be suspended, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that he’s instituting even more restrictions and that the Trump administration will continue to enforce all preexisting sanctions.

‘A big loss and embarrassment’: one of the House’s most pro-Israel Democrats just lost to a progressive challenger

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Dan Lipinski (Photo: Twitter)

Israel emerged as a hot topic in Illinois’s 3rd congressional district fight. In the race Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) lost a tight race to progressive challenger Marie Newman, who has indicated that she is open to the idea of conditioning aid to Israel. “The U.S. has a responsibility to examine how aid to Israel is used and that we should ensure that this aid is not used to support actions and policies that undercut our values,” Newman has said. 

Congress seeks to hold Israel accountable for demolishing Palestinian homes

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A member of the Adgluni family watching his house being demolished by Israeli authorities in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem on January 27, 2014. (Photo: Activestills)

A “Dear Colleague” letter was sent by more than 60 Democratic Representatives to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this week seeking to hold Israel accountable for its massive demolition of Palestinian homes last July in the Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood in East Jerusalem. 

J Street urges DNC to adopt anti-occupation language in their platform

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Members of the 2016 Democratic party Platform Committee, including (from left to right) U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), former White House Energy and Climate Change Policy director Carol Browner, and Arab American Institute co-founder James Zogby. (Photo: DNCC)

We never know where pro-Israel groups – AIPAC in particular – will draw their red lines,” said James Zogby tells Mondoweiss, In ’88 when I was representing Jackson in the platform fight, they wouldn’t allow the ‘P’ word. I was told that if we raised it, ‘you will destroy the Democratic Party.’ 

With 29 cases in Palestine, government steps up efforts to contain coronavirus

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Foreign tourists wearing masks as a preventive measure against the coronavirus during a visit to the Church of the Nativity, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on March 05, 2020. (Photo: Abedalrahman Hassan/APA Images)

Palestinians are hoping the Palestinian Authority’s desperate attempts to contain the spread of the coronavirus to the city of Bethlehem is working. Panic grew on Monday after the Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that there was one confirmed case of the virus in the northern occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem, the first case of the virus outside of Bethlehem.

MAGA congressman wants Trump administration to kill ‘anti-American and pro-BDS’ Arizona Mideast studies program

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Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) is calling for the Department of Education to investigate the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arizona. Gosar sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos claiming that the program is “anti-American and pro-BDS.” One of the examples Gosar cites is a piece by CMES associate professor Maha Nassar that ran on Mondoweiss two years ago.

Market fire kills 10 Gazans in crowded refugee camp

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At least 10 Palestinians were killed and 58 injured, including 14 in critical condition, on March 6, when a fire broke out in a bakery at a crowded market in Nuseirat refugee camp in the middle area of the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Information Center.