Imagine being left to fend for yourself against the coronavirus, as your home is threatened by demolition, and your family is living under military occupation. That is the reality for Palestinians living in the village of al-Walaja. Watch the second episode in a five-part Mondoweiss series on how Palestinians are surviving under both a global pandemic, and the Israeli occupation.
When Neta Golan’s husband traveled to Egypt at the beginning of March for a wedding, she never imagined it would take nearly five months for him to make his way home. Her story is just one of thousands of families where Palestinians were stranded abroad.
What would you do if you were living in a refugee camp during a global pandemic? For the first time in months, Palestinian refugee camps are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases raising concerns over the potentially devastating effects the virus can have on disadvantaged communities like the Dheisheh refugee camp.
From lock down inside of Hebron Badia Dwaik writes, “While we do not know when Netanyahu will resume his annexation bid, our crisis is not over.”
The New York Times covers annexation as if it chiefly affects Israeli Jews. “The fear most unnerving Israelis is that their sons and daughters could be sent into combat,” it reports but all but ignores Palestinian concerns about the illegal move Israel is contemplating.
Allison Deger talks with Safwan Fayyad, a 30-year-old senior resident and internist at the Ramallah Medical Complex, about being on the front lines against the coronavirus in the West Bank. “Until now we are keeping pace with the patient load,” Fayyad says, “but if we face a serious outbreak where a majority of people would get sick that would be a disaster here.”
On April 8, eleven members of congress released a statement opposing the Israeli government’s potential annexation of the West Bank. The action comes amid reports that the country’s new coalition government will move forward with a unilateral annexation plan.
Palestinians have entered the third week of lockdown across the West Bank and Gaza as measures to slow the transmission of the coronavirus continue. With schools and businesses closed across the region, many families are choosing to self-isolate at home.
“This virus proves that we are all one, equally threatened by coronavirus. Israel needs to change. There is no security in Israel unless there is also security in Palestine,” Zoughbi AlZoughbi, Director of Wi’am: The Palestinian Conflict Transformation Center.