#WeArePalestine

Palestinian painters draw graffitis to draw attention to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 28 March 2020 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian painters draw graffitis to draw attention to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 28 March 2020 

As the number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 multiply by the day, there have been increasing calls across the world for people to show solidarity and care for each other, particularly, for Palestine.

The newly-imposed restrictions on travel and large gatherings in Europe, as well as the horrific overcrowding of patients in overwhelmed hospitals has given the world a slight taste of what has been a Palestinian reality for decades. But of course, the differences are many.

The hashtag #WeArePalestine has been trending today as users from Mexico to Kashmir, are taking the opportunity to highlight their newfound recognition of the routine of a Palestinian’s daily life under the occupation, in light of the current COVID-19 state lockdowns.

READ: When humanitarian aid demeans political rights for Palestinians

In the occupied West Bank freedom of movement has long been subject to random checkpoints, while residents of the Gaza Strip must go through a series of procedures in order to be allowed out of the coastal enclave – surrounded by Israel to its north and east, and Egypt to the south.🇵🇸 Free Palestine Initiative 🇵🇸@FreePali1948  

Let’s show the world who supports Palestine. Comment below where you are from and use hashtag #WeArePalestine for a retweet! #Palestine #FreePalestine581Twitter Ads information and privacyMJ@2glucks1hyuck  

Sending support and love from California! #WeArePalestine #FreePalestine https://twitter.com/freepali1948/status/1247383148905803776 …🇵🇸 Free Palestine Initiative 🇵🇸@FreePali1948 

Let’s show the world who supports Palestine. Comment below where you are from and use hashtag #WeArePalestine for a retweet! #Palestine #FreePalestine11Twitter Ads information and privacyStay at Home@Sophiatrader  

#WeArePalestine
If people are finding #UKlockdown difficult to cope with, try it for 51 years with military occupation, land theft, and settler colonialism. #FreePalestine824Twitter Ads information and privacy

https://twitter.com/comoeltejon?s=11Zehra Iok (: Binte Kashmir@BinteIok  

I,m from occupied Kashmi#WeArePalestine https://twitter.com/FreePali1948/status/1239896769380712450 …🇵🇸 Free Palestine Initiative 🇵🇸@FreePali1948 

My homeland is Palestine and I will not stop resisting until it is free from zionists radicals. Free us from the terror of Israel and the US/UK government! #FreePalestine #Palestine #Gaza #GazaStrip #WeArePalestine

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In his article, Gideon Levy compared the strict measures and restrictions imposed by the Israeli government on the Israelis to curb the spread of the epidemic, with the daily suffering of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza – a reality which they have been suffering for decades under siege and occupation.

READ: What going home and staying there means for the Palestinians

However, Israel’s military control of Gaza and the West Bank has only grown more brutal during the pandemic. Workers are held in quarantine, prisoners have been infected and Israel is withholding money that could be used to help contain the outbreak.Robert Inlakesh@falasteen47  

As The World Focuses On #COVID19 Israel Is Seizing This Opportunity To Expand Its Illegal Settlements, Readying Itself For Annexation Of Almost Half Of The West Bank.#WeArePalestine

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55Twitter Ads information and privacythe timless charlie ✨@charliedrwho  

If you think a few weeks in lockdown has been hard, imagine how Palestinians are feeling. Especially with Covid-19, things are going to get much worse, and Israel is refusing to show an ounce of mercy #WeArePalestine #FreePalestine

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4Twitter Ads information and privacyW.M.ASLAM (Author)@WMASLAM63323693  

#WeArePalestine During this lockdown Israel has made life for Palestinians even more difficult. Please help the Palestinian people via registered charities. Continue to boycott Israeli goods.25Twitter Ads information and privacy

In the world’s largest open-air prison, Palestinians in Gaza have been living that way for the last 14 years and are already highly susceptible to illnesses because of widespread unemployment and poverty, food insecurity and lack of adequate potable water.

Years of tight restrictions on people and goods have not only destroyed the economy but damaged almost every aspect of life.

There are the young, and the elderly Palestinians in Gaza who have never had the chance to dream of going abroad on holiday, to pursue a career or start a business.

READ: Israel undermines Palestinian efforts to fight coronavirus

Moreover, Gaza’s public health system has been severely tested by repeated military conflicts with Israel over the past 12 years and is chronically short of drugs and equipment. When combined with a deadly pandemic, the results could be devastating.Jenna Nand@JothikaN  

#WeArePalestine. We believe in human rights and equality for all, especially in the face of a humanitarian crisis like the #coronavirus. We call on the Israeli government to lift its blockade and allow medical supplies into #Gaza and the #OccupiedTerritories. https://twitter.com/freepali1948/status/1247383148905803776 …🇵🇸 Free Palestine Initiative 🇵🇸@FreePali1948 

Let’s show the world who supports Palestine. Comment below where you are from and use hashtag #WeArePalestine for a retweet! #Palestine #FreePalestine43Twitter Ads information and privacy🇵🇸 Free Palestine Initiative 🇵🇸@FreePali1948  

Under an illegal occupation, Zionist’s stop any resources that comes into Palestine. Palestinians are in dire need of medical supplies to help fight the virus. 🇵🇸🇵🇸 #FreePalestine #Palestine #WeArePalestine #Gaza #FreeGaza

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Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Ben Jamal, also joined the hashtag to raise awareness about British complicity in supporting Israel’s system of oppression, and to challenge it during this crucial period, wrote: “These are times when we are reminded of our essential interconnectedness and that solidarity is an act of empathy. It also springs from the recognition that the oppression of the Palestinian people depends on our complicity to be sustained. We need to end our diplomatic, political and financial support for Israel’s ongoing project of ethnic cleansing.”Ben Jamal@BenJamalpsc  

1/2 Taking baby steps in recovering from Corona but what a boost too see #WeArePalestine trending. These are times when we are reminded of our essential interconnectedness and that solidarity is an act of empathy. It also springs from the recognition that the oppression ….78Twitter Ads information and privacyمشعل@Coqark  

Imagin a terrorist group, kick you and your family out of your house, and when you fight back they call you terrorist..
And then offer you a deal to share the house with them, and when you reject it, they ask “why don’t you want peace?”#WeArePalestine

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Many have also noted that criticism of Israel’s barbaric policies is not anti-Semitic and encouraged others to speak out and oppose the 52-year-old Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

While the lack of fair negotiations were also highlighted, with Twitter users raising how Israeli desires are always placed ahead of Palestinian rights.MidwichCuckoo@MidwichCuckoo  

#WeArePalestine from the UK. We must reject the conflation between disapproval of Israel and antisemitism, it’s nothing more than an attempt to silence criticism of a brutal intolerant racist state. https://twitter.com/TheBirmingham6/status/1228458472737562624 …Bernie bro@TheBirmingham6 

Quote tweeting this and pinning it.

The Labour Right and the fanatical supporters of racist Apartheid Israel have destroyed another life. Shame.#NeverForget

Rest In Power Pauline. We will fight on in your memory. https://twitter.com/pareayh/status/1225088032405147649 …225Twitter Ads information and privacy

https://twitter.com/TheReal_JesusCstatus/1247810062598496257

COVID-19 has left much of the world’s populations under lockdown and curfew, which has helped many understand the restrictions imposed on Palestinians. The biggest difference yet is unlike in Palestine, the state lockdowns and curfews are all just temporary.

(Source / 08.04.2020) 

888 Palestinians released from quarantine in Gaza

Some 888 Palestinians have been released from quarantine in Gaza after 21 days

Palestinians released from quarantine in Gaza after 21 days on 8 April 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians receive flowers after after being released from quarantine in Gaza after 21 days on 8 April 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians hug their loved ones after being released from quarantine in Gaza after 21 days on 8 April 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians receive flowers after after being released from quarantine in Gaza after 21 days on 8 April 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Officials carry the belongings of the Palestinians released from quarantine in Gaza after 21 days on 8 April 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians receive flowers after after being released from quarantine in Gaza after 21 days on 8 April 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Some 888 Palestinians have been released from quarantine in Gaza after 21 days, the spokesperson of the Strip’s Ministry of Health said yesterday.

Speaking during a press conference, Ashraf Al-Qudra said the government is monitoring the implementation of a number of measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

There are now 13 reported cases of the deadly virus in the Strip, including seven who remain under medical observation at the quarantine hospital at the Rafah crossing, he explained.

A further 130 people would be released from quarantine today, he added, including 25 medical staff, members of the police and support services.

READ: Gaza builds a bridge to safety from coronavirus

(Source / 08.04.2020) 

Palestinian university successfully builds fully computerised medical ventilator

Officials check the ventilators allocated for early treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19) on 4 April 2020 [Elif Öztürk/Anadolu Agency]

Officials check the ventilators allocated for early treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19) on 4 April 2020

Al-Quds University in the Palestinian city of Jerusalem has succeeded in constructing a fully-computerised and low-cost medical ventilator to be used for patients infected with the coronavirus.

The ventilator, which will be ready for production and widespread use after a final approval is issued by the Palestinian Standards Institute (PSI), has been designed to offer differing modes of breathing support, and can respond to varying emergency situations within intensive care units (ICUs) and field treatment centres.

READ: The PA’s response to the coronavirus shows that Palestine is ready for statehood

The new equipment can be produced within a short space of time and at a low cost, adding to its benefits. It was built from materials and hardware that were locally available rather than externally sourced.

It was designed and constructed by a team of senior professors from the university’s medicine and engineering faculties. A number of other experts were also involved in the building of the ventilator, including intensivists, pulmonologists, and electronic and computer engineers.

The ventilator prototype has already successfully passed various preliminary technical and medical tests which ended last Wednesday, with the PSI now conducting its examination of the machinery. With preliminary approval already having been issued, the university is now awaiting the final approval following the completion of more tests.

READ: What going home and staying there means for the Palestinians

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas called Al-Quds University’s President Imad Abu Kishek and thanked him for the “scientific and humanitarian contribution”, with the university having put all rights of intellectual property at Abbas’ disposal as a gesture of gratitude for leading the West Bank’s battle against the global pandemic.

The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in China towards the end of last year, has spread throughout the world and has infected some 1,447,000 people and led to 83,090 deaths. In the Palestinian territories themselves, there have so far been a total of 263 cases and only one confirmed death.

In response to the outbreak, the current Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have imposed strict measures to prevent its spread including the closure of mosques in Gaza to limit gatherings, Gaza’s sterilisation of all agricultural produce coming from Israel, and the PA’s banning of all Israeli products from reaching its markets as well as its extension of the state of emergency to battle the virus.

READ: Gaza makes ventilators to fight coronavirus

(Source / 08.04.2020) 

Jewish settlers kidnap Palestinian brothers after attacking father

Israeli settlers express their anger in front of Israeli policemen in West Bank 31 August 2018 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Apaimages]

Israeli settlers in the West Bank, 31 August 2018

Two Palestinian brothers were kidnapped by Jewish settlers yesterday from the village of Kubar, north-west of Ramallah, Quds Press has reported.

A group of settlers from the illegal settlement of Halamish brutally attacked Samir Zeebar, the father of the young men, before kidnapping Abdul Fattah and Mahmoud, who are both in their 20s.

The mayor of Kubar, Izzat Badwan, told Wafa news agency that ten armed settlers attacked the three men while they were ploughing their land. He added that Abdul Fattah and Mahmoud are apparently being “questioned” inside the settlement.

Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem have increased in number and size significantly since 1967. Despite being illegal under international law, at the end of 2019 there were more than 463,000 settlers living in the West Bank and another 300,000 in East Jerusalem.

Violent acts by the settlers from countries outside Israel, such as the US for example, have also increased. They frequently vandalise Palestinian homes and businesses, attack mosques and churches with fire bombs, throw stones and burn olive trees and other crops.

READ: Nearly 1,600 trees vandalised by Israel settlers in the West Bank since start of 2020

(Source / 08.04.2020) 

World Health Day: PCHR Calls for Providing Medical Supplies and COVID-19 Testing Kits to Gaza Strip’s Health Sector

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

World Health Day is celebrated each year on April 7th, and it was first sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1950 to raise health awareness. The theme for World Health Day 2020 is “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” to support nurses and midwives in the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy and providing assistance for patients, especially during the outbreak of diseases and in conflicts. This occasion also coincides with the global threat of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

On World Health Day, health facilities in the Gaza Strip are severely undermined, and lack the necessary capacities to provide adequate health service to Gaza patients, including extreme shortage in essential drugs, medical consumables, equipment necessary for coronavirus medical examination, and specialized healthcare professionals.

This is the direct result of the Israeli- imposed closure on the Gaza Strip for the last 13 years; and the repercussions of the Palestinian internal division and political bickering, which negatively reflected on the entry of necessary medical supplies into the Gaza Strip and the level of health services provided for patients.

According to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Gaza and PCHR’s follow-up, health facilities in the Gaza Strip suffer from acute shortage of essential drugs, medical disposables, ventilators, and COVID-19 testing kits (50% of the essential medicines list; 60% of medical tests; 45% of the medical disposables; and 100% shortage in COVID-19 testing kits at the Gaza Strip Hospitals).

It should be noted that the available ventilators at the Gaza Strip Hospitals are insufficient, particularly in times of emergencies and in the case of a coronavirus outbreak.

As PCHR fears the possible collapse of the health sector in the Gaza Strip, and with the awareness that the health sector cannot sustain patients in case of a coronavirus outbreak, PCHR;

  • Calls upon the international community and WHO to put pressure on Israel and compel it to comply with its obligations, and to allow the entry of Gaza Strip’s medical needs, especially equipment necessary for coronavirus medical examination.
  • Calls upon the international community and humanitarian organizations to provide aid and assistance to the Gaza Strip’s health sector and to endeavor to supply the needed medical equipment to Gaza hospitals to protect them from collapse.
  • Stresses the need for coordination between MOH in Gaza and Ramallah to combat the spread of coronavirus.

(Source / 08.04.2020) 

International Solidarity Movement Responds to Report of FBI Probe

This is the statement from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in response to a report  published by The Intercept detailing an investigation of the ISM conducted by the FBI from 2004 – 2006, using informants as well as physical and telecommunications surveillance.

The International Solidarity Movement is a Palestinian-led movement of international solidarity that promotes non-violent witness, accompaniment and civil disobedience to challenge the Israeli military’s violent occupation of Palestinian land. The group has always strictly adhered to the principle and practice of non-violence as a tactic.

Here is the group’s statement:

We, at the International Solidarity Movement, denounce this shameless abuse of power and misuse of public funds in an attempt to criminalize Palestinian solidarity and anti-occupation activism, as well as the current ongoing campaign in some American states to criminalize the BDS movement. ISM activists have been secretly spied on and targeted by various intelligence services, including British, Israeli, and U.S.,  for over 19 years, merely for standing up for the rights of Palestinians.

We call on those who believe that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity to take action and raise awareness about local, state, and national attempts to criminalize nonviolent resistance such as BDS and Palestinian advocacy, and boycott those profiting off the Occupation of Palestine.

According to the Intercept report, an FBI investigation was launched after an American volunteer with ISM was shot and wounded by Israeli forces at a protest in Occupied Palestine. Instead of investigating the foreign army that injured an American citizen exercising his First Amendment-protected right to peaceful protest, the FBI’s response was to probe the survivor. While the 2 primary investigations were launched by the Los Angeles and St. Louis FBI Field Offices, agents from at least 11 cities were involved in spying on various ISM activists and related organizations. Using far right and extremist news sources, the investigation attempted to link ISM to international terrorism.

After two years of investigation, multiple rights and privacy violations, hundreds of pages of reports and tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars wasted, the investigation only proved what we have always maintained: ISM is a non-violent movement committed to ending the Occupation of Palestine through non-violent means.

Notably, the investigation began in March 2004, shortly after the murder of American Rachel Corrie and Briton Tom Hurndall (2003) by the Israeli army. The probe coincided with an Israeli government campaign to de-legitimize ISM and discredit Palestinian rights activists. It also reflects the increase in recent years of FBI investigations into non-violent activist organizations such as Black Lives Matter and Antiwar.com. Today, lobby groups, politicians, and leaders in the United States continue to violate First Amendment-protected rights to free speech through criminalizing non-violent Palestinian activism, such as the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“The fact that ISM was under this kind of extensive investigation is ridiculous and a complete waste of taxpayer money. ISM has always been open and transparent about who we are, what we do, and what we stand for, which is purportedly what this country stands for — freedom and human rights.” — ISM co-founder Huwaida Arraf

“In Dr. King’s time, surveillance was justified in terms of alleged Communist influence; in recent years, surveillance has been justified by alleged association with terrorists. In both cases, U.S. citizens were employing nonviolent action to confront injustice and oppression.” — ISM activist spied on by the FBI, Mark Chmiel

(Source / 08.04.2020) 

Israeli forces wound fisherman in northern Gaza

Gaza (QNN)- A Palestinian fisherman was wounded on Wednesday after being shot by Israeli gunboats at the Sudaniyyah sea near Beit Lahya in northern Faza.

Private sources stated that Israeli forces opened fire at the fisherman Ibrahim Abu Wardeh (23 years old) after chasing him while he was working in the Sudaniyyeh sea.

Abu Wardeh has been wounded in his hand and leg. He was evacuated to get medical treatment.

The occupation state targets fishermen in Gaza on a daily basis, causing many of them to be wounded or killed. Israeli forces also repeatedly confiscate equipment and fishing boats of Gaza’s fishermen and prevent them from working.

(Source / 08.04.2020) 

Remembering Bahr El-Baqar primary school massacre

50 years later, the occupation state continues its terrorism

Cairo (QNN)- Bodies of dead schoolchildren, ruins of an elementary school, and families, who have been mourning their children for the last 50 years, are everything left after the Israeli massacre in Bahr El-Baqar elementary school.

On April 8, 1970, The occupation state targeted the elementary school with an air raid, murdering over 40 schoolchildren, while severely wounding over 50 others and leaving the rest of the 150 students with permanent disabilities.

The Israeli Minister of war at the time, Moshe Dayan, who was elected after that as a prime minister, claimed that the school was a military installation and that there were soldiers and weapons hidden on the premises.

No proofs nor basis for Dayan’s claims were provided, either before or after the attack. The school rather was located in Ash Sharqia Governorate, which is over 200km away from the Israeli border.

The school, which consisted of only three classes housed on one floor, had a student body of 150 children. The building was completely destroyed as the attack was carried out by Israeli Air Force F4 Phantom II fighter-bombers that used five bombs and two air-to-ground missiles.

50 years later, the occupation state continues its terrorism, targeting Palestinian children. ‘Israel’ killed 33 children in 2019 only, arrested 880 children in the same year, and attacks schools in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem on a daily basis.

(Source / 08.04.2020) 

Palestinian Hospital, Quarantine Center Discharges 18 Coronavirus Cases

Photos File

A total of 18 patients infected with the novel coronavirus were Tuesday discharged following recovery in Ramallah and Bethlehem districts after recovery, announced Health Minister Mai Kaileh

Speaking in the daily evening briefing in Ramallah, Kaileh announced that 11 patients infected with COVID-19 were being discharged from the Hugo Chavez Hospital, located in Turmus Ayya town, northeast of Ramallah, and seven others from a quarantine center in Bethlehem district, following their full recovery.

She added that all discharged patients would now be allowed to return to their homes and must remain in home quarantine for a two-week period, while maintaining adequate essential nutrition and checking their temperature twice a day.

Following this period, Kaileh elaborated, the recovered cases must undergo the COVID-19 test again. Medical staff will follow-up on every case during the home quarantine period.

Earlier today, the Government Spokesman announced via twitter that a Palestinian identified as a worker from Hebron city tested positive for the virus, raising the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Palestinian territories increased to 261.

The Health Ministry’s statistics indicate that since the novel coronavirus outbreak, 42 cases have recovered; 36 in the West Bank and 6 in the besieged Gaza Strip, and one case died.

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(Source / 08.04.2020) 

Injuries Reported As Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinians In Hebron

Photos File

A number of Palestinian citizens were injured on Tuesday when Israeli settlers, protected by armed forces, attacked them near al-Shuyoukh town northeast of the West Bank city of al-Khalil.

Local sources said that violent confrontations broke out between Palestinian citizens and Israeli settlers on Palestinian lands near al-Shuyoukh town.

Israeli occupation forces, accompanied by police dogs, later interfered to protect the settlers and fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades at the Palestinians. A number of them suffered breathing difficulties and were treated in the field.

Local residents said the clashes flared up after Israeli settlers surrounded lands owned by the Halayka family with barbed wire and attempted to seize them by force to establish a settler outpost.

(Source / 08.04.2020)