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Over 30,000 people tuned into a virtual rally calling for an end to the Gaza blockade

Michael Arria on

In addition to the rally, JVP also released a petition that has already been signed by over 15,000 people. It calls on Israel to lift its embargo on Gaza in response to the COVID-19 crisis. “This crisis has been building since Israel’s life-threatening blockade began 13 years ago, and the U.S. is complicit,” it reads.

The politics of coronavirus: A timeline of public health actions in Israel/Palestine

Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council on
Shops are shuttered in an outdoor market after Palestinians are ordered to stay at home as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, in the West Bank city of Nablus, on March 25, 2020. (Photo: Shadi Jarar'ah/APA Images)

Coronavirus entered the West Bank in early February, but political decisions have interfered with response, from apartheid water restrictions on Palestinians to the Netanyahu government’s refusal to quarantine Israelis returning from AIPAC conference in Washington. –A report from JVP’s Health Advisory Council.

Bring maximum pressure on Israel to end siege or Gaza could become a graveyard

Aaron Lakoff on

“The international community is watching what is happening in Gaza, and never does anything concrete to stop it. People have compared Gaza to a zoo. There have been reports saying that Gaza would be unliveable in 2020, and this was without the Coronavirus. Well, now we are in 2020.” –Khalil Abu Yahia, an English teacher in Gaza, speaking to Independent Jewish Voices of Canada.

An Epidemic in a Settler Colony: Coronavirus in Palestine/Israel 

Ahmad Al-Bazz on
Israeli forces at Al Walaja checkpoint, West Bank, March 2020. (Oren Ziv / Activestills).

The entire experience of the coronavirus in the West Bank serves as a perfect example of how Israel rules over Palestinians. While the coronavirus doesn’t differentiate between Israelis and Palestinians, Israel sure does. Everything in this country is politicized and affected by the colonial structure. The epidemic is just another perspective to understand it from. 

Coronavirus exposes Israel’s political secret (apartheid)

Philip Weiss on

The imperative of fighting coronavirus with aggressive public health measures presents Israel with a choice — let Palestine go to hell, or take full control over the health system — and thereby exposes the political truth of Israeli governance. There is one apartheid state, with a legally privileged racial group and a second- and third-class subject population.

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.

COVID-19 reaches Gaza as cases spike in the West Bank

Mondoweiss Editors on
A Palestinian man wearing a protective face mask rides a donkey cart in Gaza City early on March 22, 2020. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA Images)

The Latest: First coronavirus-related Palestinian death reported this week in the West Bank 82 Palestinians in the West Bank tested positive for COVID-19 9 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip tested positive for COVID-19 2,693 Israelis have tested positive for COVID-19 8 Israelis have died from coronavirus-related causes The ministry of health in Gaza said they […]

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.

Coronavirus is an urgent reminder that Gaza’s siege is a death sentence

Mary Turfah on
A Palestinian talks with his mother who is under quarantine at a government facility located in the Mahfouz al-Nahnah Algerian School in Gaza City March 26, 2020. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA Images)

Although coronavirus seems to be relatively contained inside the Gaza Strip, the new cases raise the specter for what many of us have known for a long time: trapping millions in close quarters is a death sentence. In this crisis, as many officials reocgnize, incarcerated people should be released.

A Rematch in Michigan

Michael Arria on
Rashida Tlaib

Jones Challenges Tlaib This week, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones officially announced that she will run against Rep. Rashida Tlaib in Michigan’s 13th congressional district. Jones won a special election in 2018 to fill John Conyers’s old seat and, just five weeks later, Tlaib defeated Jones by a slim margin in a crowded Democratic […]

Forward global thinking on COVID-19

Alice Rothchild on
Palestinian members of the civil defense disinfect the streets as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus, in Khan Younis in the southern of Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2020. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Dr. Alice Rothchild writes, “The announcement that nine cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Gaza filled me with a new level of anxiety and despair. Gaza is at the beginning of the pandemic curve.”

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.

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.

Blocking medical aid to Iran isn’t just immoral, it’s stupid

James North on
COVID-19 patient being treated in Iran, (Fars News Agency)

Advocates for regime-change think if the US squeezes Iran enough during the pandemic, the people will turn against the clerics. They made similar foolish conclusions about Iraq. They underestimate the power of nationalism. Iran has become a regional power in part because its people have solidified against sanctions.

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.