Haidar Eid writes, “In Gaza, staying at home leads to some existential questions and deep soul searching. With time to reflect, I am tempted to cross that invisible thin line separating fiction from reality. The real world of occupation, blockade, apartheid, settler-colonialism, and coronavirus on the one hand, and on the other, the imaginary world of my favorite authors.”
Majd Mashharawi, a 25-year-old civil engineer and the founder of SunBox: “Palestine shapes you just as much as you shape it, or in our case, reshape it. Limited access to electricity is not our major problem. It is what it represents.”
Israeli leaders may seize the coronavirus moment to create further ‘facts on the ground’ in Palestine through annexation and expansion, as envisioned through the joint US-Israeli ‘peace plan,’ Yaser Alashqar writes. They imagine they can defeat the Palestinians, but a campaign for equal rights cannot be defeated.
COVID-19 internet memes are helping make the previously unrelatable phenomenon of the Kashmir or Gaza lockdowns understandable to a new generation experiencing the isolation of social distancing for the first time. Aarushi Patel says they may carry a political meaning too.
Palestinians have entered the third week of lockdown across the West Bank and Gaza as measures to slow the transmission of the coronavirus continue. With schools and businesses closed across the region, many families are choosing to self-isolate at home.
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.
“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.
“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).
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.