Many Palestinians in Gaza with post-graduate degrees struggle to find even some form of underemployment. And the most highly specialized workforce is leaving, if they can.
Gaza reported it’s first two cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. While the spread of the respiratory disease is relatively contained in Gaza, there is widespread fear the health infrastructure is woefully underprepared to handle an outbreak
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.
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.
Everyone has now experienced the feeling of lockdown and quarantine. Fortunately, this is to save lives. In Gaza, it has only caused death and suffering.
Nada Elia says it is offensive to compare our circumstances with the coronavirus in the United States to those of the besieged Palestinians in Gaza.
How can I not think of the residents of Gaza who are prisoners of an inhuman blockade that has lasted for more than 13 years when I find myself confined to my home, forbidden to leave my house except for 5 reasons set by the government and provided that I have a certificate? But in Europe at least, we don’t have snipers to enforce this ban.
A New York Times article on coronavirus in Israel and Palestine notes that a “small and crowded” land is particularly vulnerable to an epidemic. But the article’s emphasis is Israelis. The most vulnerable population, Gaza’s 1.8 million, go unmentioned, in a form of journalistic apartheid.
My parents, grandparents, and every Palestinian’s answer to the Trump deal is nothing less than intensifying the resistance for our legitmate rights and right to return, and exposing the international community’s complicity in Israeli Apartheid. In those moments, I feel the memories of my grandparents. Their spirits are looking at me and telling me, ‘resist Majed, resist, there is only one way.’