A ruling shutting down the densely populated city of Bnei Brak is similar to countless rulings that Israeli High Court judges have written in recent decades on the rights of the Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories. This time the Ministry of Health took the role of the military commander in a Palestinian village. The ease with which judges have allowed the government to place a closure on Bnei Brak only proves how weak the Israeli High Court of Justice really is.

Armed and masked Israeli settlers harassing Palestinians. Published by IMEMC in April 2020, but photo is undated.

The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have fostered settler violence against Palestinians, the U.N. reports, according to the Jerusalem Post. Between March 17 and 30, “at least 16 attacks by Israeli settlers resulted in five Palestinian injuries and extensive property damage. This represents a 78% increase compared to the bi-weekly average of incidents since the start of 2020.”

“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.