#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

View image on Twitter

122Twitter Ads information and privacy

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

View image on Twitter

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

Embedded video

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

View image on Twitter

129Twitter Ads information and privacy

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

View image on Twitter

764Twitter Ads information and privacy

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) 

Bronze Age cemetery discovered in West Bank village

The Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced the discovery of a Bronze Age cemetery in Hindaza area, east of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem on 6 April 2020 [Wafa News]

The Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced the discovery of a Bronze Age cemetery in Hindaza area, east of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem on 6 April 2020

A Bronze Age cemetery has been discovered in the occupied West Bank village of Hindaza near Bethlehem, the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced.

A statement from the ministry explained that a local resident found the site while he was digging foundations for his home.

When the homeowner contacted the Bethlehem Department of Antiquities, staff went to the site immediately.

Excavations confirmed that it is the location of a cemetery that dates back 3,200 years to the Bronze Age.

Archaeologists conducted an extensive search of the site to identify and examine the materials that were found. Priceless bronze and copper objects have been unearthed.

The ministry stressed the importance of preserving the site for further investigation. It is hoped that further work will shed fresh light on the health, food and life expectancy of the people of that era.

READ: Israeli settlements are ‘epicentres’ of coronavirus outbreak

(Source / 07.04.2020) 

Gaza builds a bridge to safety from coronavirus

Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables 

Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in an effort to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The new system allows all fresh produce to be vacuum packed and sealed in a sterilised environment without human intervention.

The few staff members at the plant enter the area through a specially created passage which cleanses them using steam and disinfectant sprays. They then wear hazmat suits, gloves, masks and googles before beginning work.

The staff then transport the items to the consumers and local markets.

A Palestinian guide to surviving a quarantine: On faith, humour and ‘Dutch Candy’

The new passage is mobile and can be transfer to any new facility and may be rolled out to other industries in Gaza.

To ensure the system continues to operate in spite of the continuous power failures experienced in the Strip, the device operates using batteries.

There have been more than 12 reported cases of the coronavirus in the besieged Gaza Strip which is already struggling to tackle existing medical conditions following the 14-year Israeli siege imposed on it.

Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians in Gaza have launched a new sterilisation process for fresh fruit and vegetables in Gaza on 7 April 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

(Source / 07.04.2020) 

Hamas calls on PA to put differences aside during virus crisis

Palestinian workers disinfect places of worship as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus on 12 March 2020 [Ashraf Amra/ApaImages]

Palestinian workers disinfect places of worship as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus on 12 March 2020 

The head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, called on the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah on Sunday to put political differences aside and unite in the efforts to confront the coronavirus pandemic.

Haniyeh made the call during a telephone conversation with PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh to discuss the implications of the crisis.

“We, as Palestinians, are united in one trench to confront this pandemic,” Haniyeh is reported to have said.

He stressed that the safety of every Palestinian in Jerusalem, Gaza, the West Bank and abroad should be the main concern of the factions.

READ: PA bans all Israel products from its markets amid coronavirus fears

The Hamas leader also briefed Shtayyeh about the healthcare needs of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in light of the suffocating siege imposed by Israel.

The de facto government in the enclave, he explained, will do everything within its power to protect the Palestinians.

According to official records, the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 stands at 226, including 12 in the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 07.04.2020) 

Palestinians warned not to sneak in workers from Israel

Palestinian police officers wear masks to protect themselves from coronavirus as they stand guard in Bethlehem, West Bank on 5 March 2020 [Wisam Hashlamoun/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian police officers wear masks to protect themselves from coronavirus as they stand guard in Bethlehem, West Bank on 5 March 2020

Palestinians caught smuggling workers from Israel into the occupied West Bank will be held legally accountable, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Labour warned.

According to the Jerusalem Post, several Palestinians who were caught attempting to smuggle workers from Israel in their vehicles were arrested by the PA security forces over the past few days.

Ibrahim Ramadan, the PA governor of Nablus, expressed concern over the incidents of smuggling workers from Israel into the occupied West Bank.

“Some workers are trying to avoid being tested for the virus or forced into isolation, and this is a big problem,” Ramadan said. “They are endangering their lives and those of their families.”

READ: PA bans all Israel products from its markets amid coronavirus fears

For weeks, Palestinian officials have issued warnings that workers travelling back and forth between Israel, its settlements and their homes could fuel a larger outbreak of COVID-19.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh warned on Friday that the next two weeks would be critical with regard to the virus’ spread, as thousands of Palestinian workers are expected to return to their homes before the start of the Jewish Holiday of Passover.

The PA fears that some of the workers may have contracted the disease during their stay in Israel, and it will therefore isolate or quarantine workers returning from Israel for 14 days, and has set aside some hotels and other locations as quarantine sites, Haaretz reported.

PA Health Minister Mai Kaila said the number of people infected in the occupied West Bank has increased to 247 today.

The PA said all workers who return from Israel will be forced to take an initial health test by the Palestinian security services and medical staff waiting for them at the Israeli checkpoints, and if there are early symptoms they will be sent for a coronavirus test.

READ: Hamas calls on PA to put differences aside during virus crisis

(Source / 07.04.2020) 

Israel settlers spitting on Palestinian cars raises concern over attempt to spread coronavirus

Israeli settlers in the West Bank, 31 August 2010 [Mamoun Wazwaz/ApaImages}

Israeli settlers in the West Bank, 31 August 2010

Israeli settlers have been accused of trying to spread the coronavirus in Palestinian neighbourhoods by spitting on cars in a West Bank village.

Residents of the village of Beit Iksa, northwest of occupied Jerusalem, reported the shocking incident last week of Israeli settlers spitting on vehicles travelling into and out of the village which is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements.

Speaking to Palestinian WAFA news agency residents described how settlers from Ramot settlement, build on land belonging to Beit Iksa in violation of international law, stood at the entrance to the village and started to spit on Palestinian cars entering or leaving the village in an attempt to spread the coronavirus.

READ: Israel settlements turn Palestinian house into cage

A group of youths from the village are said to have confronted the settlers and forced them to leave the area and then disinfected the road and cars.

Ramot settlement has reported 17 cases of coronavirus out of its overall population of 550 people. Settlers from Ramot are notorious for harassing local Palestinians. They are often seen vandalising cars belonging to Palestinian and spraying racists slogans on their properties.

Coronavirus spreading in the Middle East - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

In a separate incident Israeli soldiers were also accused of deliberately trying to spread coronavirus by spitting on cars and homes belonging to Palestinians.

Dozens of Israeli occupation forces stormed several neighbourhoods in the West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil) during which they deliberately spat on the doors of Palestinian homes and cars according to the Palestinian Chronicle.

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

Eyewitnesses reported seeing Israeli soldiers intentionally and repeatedly spitting at cars, walls and doorsteps. In one instance the image of an Israeli soldier spitting on a car was captured on video.

Fearing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Palestinians rushed to sterilise the places which the soldiers spat at following their withdrawal.

Israel is one of the hardest hit in the region by the coronavirus. One town affected by the pandemic is believed to have a 38 per cent infection rate which prompted the government to seal the territory. With over a million jobless, the country’s unemployment rate jumped 527 per cent last week.

(Source / 06.04.2020) 

PA bans all Israel products from its markets amid coronavirus fears

Empty streets and closed shops are seen after a curfew was announced by authorities as a measure against coronavirus (COVID-19), in Ramallah, West Bank on 23 March 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Empty streets and closed shops are seen after a curfew was announced by authorities as a measure against coronavirus (COVID-19), in Ramallah, West Bank on 23 March 2020

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is banning the import of all types of Israeli products in its effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The new move, decided yesterday, comes after the Jerusalem Governor Adnan Ghaith warned Arab residents of Jerusalem not to risk purchasing goods or used items from Israelis on the eve of the Jewish Holiday of Passover, as they may be contaminated.

Issued by PA Minister of National Economy Khaled Al-Osaily, the restriction on Israeli imports came amid a spike in coronavirus cases in Palestine.

Today, 15 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the occupied West Bank, raising the total number of known infections in Palestine to 252, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Al-Osaily warned that anyone who violates the new directive will be held legally accountable, reported the Israeli newspaper the Jerusalem Post.

READ: Israeli settlements are ‘epicentres’ of coronavirus outbreak 

He also added that his ministry, together with the PA security forces, has been working to implement a law that combats settlement products, which was approved by PA President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010.

In the past, the PA banned the entry of settlement products into Palestinian markets, in response to Israel having stopped Palestinian agricultural produce from being sold.

The trade crisis started in September when Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh announced the PA would stop importing beef from Israel, as part of a drive to reduce Palestinian economic dependence on the occupation state.

It had only returned to normal earlier this year after the PA lifted the ban.

(Source / 06.04.2020)