The virus has come back to the West Bank and Gaza with a vengeance. Over 24 hours 272 new cases of the virus have been confirmed in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) recently launched an appeal for $14 million in anticipation of a coronavirus outbreak in Palestinian refugee camps. It’s an indication of the dire financial straits the agency is in, particularly since the US – once its major donor – cut its annual $360 million donation in August 2018.
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.”
From Judith Mahoney Pasternak, “How do you feel now/You who were David for three thousand years/The lone shepherd boy/Armed only with stones, against a monster/Who would destroy your people/And only you to save them?”
The morning after President Donald Trump committed to recognizing Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank during the release of his much-awaited Middle East peace plan, Palestinians protested the deal that would annex the Jordan Valley, the breadbasket of the West Bank, by motoring trackers through an Israeli checkpoint.
Haidar Eid writes Palestinians can never endorse anti-Semitism and looks at models within popular movements and supporters of BDS who have championed the rights of all and worked in partnership with Jewish supporters of Palestinian human rights.
Benjamin Netanyahu has the inside track to remain prime minister of Israel because he supports the “Jewish identity” of the state, says political scientist Tamar Hermann. The left is a marginal factor in the Israeli election in September, and Israeli Jews overwhelmingly don’t want Palestinians in any governing coalition. The only thing Israeli Jews and Palestinians agree on is that the Trump peace plan won’t work.
On June 9, Palestinian mental health professionals met to launch the Palestine-Global Mental Health Network in an effort to support their people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health, and to reclaim their power and self-determination.
Palestinians activists are protesting this weekend at storefronts and offices for the German athletic wear manufacturer Puma. The reason? Puma sponsors the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes six teams in settlements in the West Bank.
At the end of June the Trump administration will unveil an economic package to bolster its peace plan for the Israelis and Palestinians at a conference in Bahrain. Nur Arafeh writes, “The economic workshop in Bahrain is thus another U.S. attempt to manage the political situation, rather than resolve it, and pacify Palestinians by offering them economic incentives to distract them from political issues.”