Tamam Abusalama remembers leaving the Gaza Strip for the first time ten years ago. The driver made a point to take her and her mother through Beit Jirja, their original village, on the way to Jerusalem. Nothing was left of the village. Just agricultural fields.
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.
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
Roger Waters on the importance of international solidarity with Palestinians: “The aim … is to focus world attention on the plight of the Palestinian people in Gaza in the hope that the scales will fall from the eyes of all, ordinary, decent people round the world, that they may see the enormity of the crimes that have been committed, and demand that their governments bring all possible pressure to bear on Israel to lift the siege.”
Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem in the first four months of 2019 have already exceeded the number in 2018, the UN reports, and 193 Palestinians have been displaced. On April 29th alone, 31 structures were demolished. The next day another four. On Friday, UN officials called on Israel to ‘immediately halt’ the policy.
Alice Rothchild visits a church in Amman that has gained a regional reputation for caring for refugees from Syria and Iraq, many of whom fled ISIS atrocities and are afraid to return. “Forty percent of the women are widows and many refugees have experienced unimaginably severe and chronic trauma from abuse.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today he plans to name a settlement in the Golan Heights after President Donald Trump. A train station under construction in Jerusalem’s Old City will also be named after Trump. Both are located in occupied territory.
Nidal al-Azza, 50, is a Palestinian activist and leading advocate for Palestinian residency and refugee rights. Al-Azza sat down with Mondoweiss to discuss the current US foreign policy in Israel and Palestine, and the effects of Trump’s political decisions on the Palestinian people, Palestinian leadership, and the future of the Palestinian cause.
Palestinians in Lebanon sympathize with Americans weeping over Donald Trump. The new president of Lebanon also is hostile to refugees.
The Israeli occupation is the chief structural barrier to quality healthcare for Palestinians—it has exacerbated existing inequities in the population and has given rise to a host of issues unique to this devastating political reality. The structural aspects of the occupation —political, economic, and social— collectively mitigate access to quality health care for Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem. Healthcare is not just measured in mortality statistics or disease prevalence. National health systems are highly influenced by the political climate surrounding them, and as Norwegian physician and activist Mads Gilbert puts it, “Medicine and politics are Siamese twins.”