As part of COVID-19 series in Palestine, Yumna Patel traveled to the Jordan Valley to see what life is like for Palestinians there as they fight two battles: one against the coronavirus, and one against annexation. “In this area, the occupation is even worse for us than the coronavirus pandemic. The occupation has taken advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to take over more land in the Jordan Valley,” Motaz Bisharat, a Palestinian activist based in the northern Jordan Valley tells Mondoweiss.

(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.

Palestinians ride past a mural protesting Israel's West Bank annexation plans, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 1, 2020. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

With every passing day, the prospect of annexation and what that means for Palestinians living under occupation becomes more and more unclear. What exactly happened, and what’s going to happen in the near future? We answer some of your questions here.

Israeli troops clash with the Palestinian demonstrators in the Jordan Valley during a protest against Israel's plan to annex parts of the West Bank, June 24, 2020. (Photo: Shadi Jarar'ah/APA Images)

As annexation day approaches, Palestinians on the ground are gearing up for a new reality, one they say they’ve been forced to get ready for for years. Zayd Sawafta, a farmer and mayor of the small village of Bardala, tells Mondoweiss that even when annexation does go through, Palestinians aren’t leaving. “We have learned from experience,” Sawafta says. “They will do everything they can to kick us off this land and take it for themselves, but this time, we are not leaving.”

From April 1st to May 14, 1948 — before Israel was declared, before the British left, and before any Arab soldier entered Palestine to save it — Zionist militias essentially conquered Palestine. Salman Abu Sitta says this critical period leading to Al Nakba has rarely been looked upon in this light, and shows how massacres that took place during this period were pivotal in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.