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Palestinian Authority

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(Photo: Mohammed Salem)

Permits for Gaza’s sickest patients to receive treatment in Israel and the West Bank ended abruptly on May 19 when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced an end to coordination with Israel. Since then two infants have died in the Gaza Strip awaiting permits for medical treatment in Israel, a tragedy that Palestinians anxiously fear could expand in the coming weeks.

Palestinian Authority employees wait to withdraw cash from an ATM outside a Bank of Palestine branch in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 2, 2020. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

The latest Israeli military order allows forces to seize funds in Palestinian banks. The political motivation behind this “legal” hogwash is the Israeli desire to punish the Palestinian leadership for refusing to stop making welfare payments to those Palestinians who were, or continue to be, detained in Israeli prisons—political prisoners,—in addition to welfare payments made to families of martyrs. It is important to note that nearly one million Palestinians have gone through the Israeli prison system since the start of Israeli military occupation in 1967.

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.