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A Palestinian worker disinfects streets of the Al-Shati' refugee camp as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of COVID-19, in Gaza City on March 16, 2020. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh’s fear of the coronavirus is based on his late grandfather’s death during a Tuberculosis epidemic in Gaza’s refugee camps during the mid-1960s. “I have no idea what the future holds for the refugee camps in Gaza,” Abu Al-Tarabeesh writes, “but I do know when it comes to infectious diseases and viruses, the past has been alarming.”

Bedlam stretched across the working-class Israeli town of Ashkelon yesterday after Israel reneged on what would have been a first medical visit by a Palestinian health official to Mohammed Allan, 31, a Palestinian hunger striking detainee hospitalized in the coastal Israeli city. For a second time in five days police dispersed Palestinian protesters in Ashkelon using force, and spraying heaps of putrid smelling liquid from a water cannon. This time, cloaking demonstrators, members of Knesset and Israeli bystanders alike.