Gaza hotels become quarantine centres

Citizens in Gaza start wearing masks and gloves, after declaring coronavrius cases on 22 March 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Citizens in Gaza start wearing masks and gloves, after declaring coronavrius cases on 22 March 2020

The Palestinian Ministry of Interior said on Sunday that it is running two of the most modern hotels in Gaza as quarantine centres for those returning to the besieged enclave from abroad, a statement said.

In the statement, which was sent to mass media, Spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Iyad Al-Bozom said that the owners of the Commodore and Blue Beach hotels handed them over to the government so they could be used as quarantine centres.

Al-Bozom said that the High Emergency Committee Against Coronavirus decided to use them for elderly patients.

READ: UN warns of ‘frightening’ consequences of virus in Gaza

He also pointed out that these are two out of 19 quarantine centres distributed across the besieged Gaza Strip, which has been under a strict Israeli siege for 14 years.

On Saturday evening authorities in Gaza announced that the first two people had tested positive for coronavirus.

Authorities said that they were tested at the Rafah Crossing before entering into Gaza and immediately put into quarantine. All the returnees who accompanied them were also put in quarantine.

A UN official has warned that Gaza it is vulnerable to a possible disaster if coronavirus spreads there because of the lack of medical equipment and medicine due to the Israeli siege.

(Source / 23.03.2020) 

UNRWA suspends distribution of food aid in Gaza

Palestinian men carry food aid given by UNRWA in Gaza City, Gaza on 15 January 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian men carry food aid given by UNRWA in Gaza City, Gaza on 15 January 2018

In a brief statement on Sunday evening, UNRWA said that due to the current conditions and for the people’s safety it has decided to temporarily suspend the distribution of food aid and will inform residents of the new dates at a later time.

This was in light of the announcement of the appearance of coronavirus on Saturday by the Ministry of Health.

UNRWA stated that it would arrange other places to distribute the baskets in an orderly and safer manner through other distribution points, which may include its schools.

The Gaza Strip is home to 2 million people, of which 1.4 million depend on UNRWA aid.

READ: Qatar donating $150mn to support Gaza’s coronavirus battle

(Source / 23.03.2020) 

World Health Organization Officials Visit the Besieged Gaza Strip

A delegation from the World Health Organization (WHO) arrived in the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, after announcing that two people were infected with Corona virus (COVID-19).

The Hebrew newspaper “Yediot Aharonot” reported that a group of representatives from the WHO arrived in the Gaza Strip, through the Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing.

The newspaper noted that the World Health Organization delivered hundreds of Coronavirus kits to Gaza, a short time ago, with additional supplies, expected to be delivered in the near future.

According to Anadolu News Agency, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Jamie McGoldrick, has warned of frightening consequences if the COVID-19 virus were to spread in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

In an interview, McGoldrick told UN News that a COVID-19 outbreak in the Gaza Strip could be disastrous, due to the 14 year long Israeli blockade of the Strip, an already insufficient health-care system, and over-crowding, with nearly 2,000,000 Palestinians living within a 365 square kilometer area.

The UN official said they are working to raise $7 million to meet Gaza’s urgent humanitarian needs, and have been in contact with the Palestinian administration as well as the World Health Organization, to work together to improve the state of health care in the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 23.03.2020) 

Israeli Police Allow Israeli Settlers Into Al-Aqsa Mosque, Restrict Muslim Presence

Dozens of Israeli colonial settlers, belonging to the Temple Mount group, on Sunday morning, stormed the vicinity of the Islamic holy shrine of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem..

Witnesses told media outlets that the group of illegal settlers performed provocative rituals before leaving through the Bab Alselsela gate used by Palestinian-Muslim residents.

Israeli police force escorted the illegal settlers, while also restricting entry of Muslim Palestinian worshippers into the sacred Islamic compound.

The Temple Mount group had previously called on Israeli colonists to perform rituals at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, also known as the Al-Haram Ash-Sharīf, widely agreed to be an Islamic holy place.

New measures of the Israeli occupation authorities’ efforts to fight the now internationally-spread, Coronavirus, are claimed to be the reason for the tightened restrictions. High fines have been threatened only against Palestinian locals and scholars, allegedly to avoid the assembly of large numbers of people, however the Israelis are not subject to the same rules.

In September 2000, late Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, invaded, along with almost 3000 Israelis, including Jews, police forces and officials, stormed the holy shrine, which sparked the second Palestinian Intifada (uprising) otherewise known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada, which took the lives of 3,000 Palestinians over a 5 year period.

In the last 2 decades, Israelis and illegal settlers have regularly stormed the Muslim holy site with the protection of Israeli police and performed rituals, which are forbidden. Israelis who wish to pray near the mosque have a designated area for prayer, known among Muslims as the Buraq Wall, know by Jews as the Wailing Wall.

On Sunday, the Palestinian Waqf council announced the decision to suspend all Muslim prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, starting Monday at dawn, until further notice.

(Source / 23.03.2020) 


Ramallah (QNN)- Israeli forces on Sunday night killed a Palestinian young man and wounded another at the entrance to the village of Ni’lin in western Ramallah.

Israeli media said that the Israeli army opened fire at a vehicle on the main street near the entrance to the village of Ni’lin, murdering one young man and wounding his cousin.

The young man has been identified as Sufyan Khawaja (32 years old). He was murdered with live rounds under the pretext of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. The Israeli army prevented the Red Crescent from reaching him.  

(Source / 23.03.2020) 


Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The Israeli army on the early morning of Monday arrested two Palestinian citizens in Qalqilya and a third in occupied Jerusalem during night raids.

The journalist Mervat Sadeq said that nearly 20 soldiers broke into her house in the village of Neriria on the dawn of Monday.

She added that her brother, Alaa Sadeq (38 years old), a father of a 4-year-old child who has already spent nearly ten years in jail, was arrested.

Meanwhile, Another young man was reportedly arrested from the same village. Both the young man, who was identified as Mamdouh Berri, as well as Alaa Sadeq were taken to an unknown place.

In occupied Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrested Murad Misk after breaking into his house in the village of Beit Safafa.

Despite the coronavirus crisis and all needed health measures, the Israeli army continues to carry out night raids throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem on a daily basis, breaking into Palestinians’ houses and arresting dozens of them.

(Source / 23.03.2020) 


Ramallah (QNN)- The spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, Ghassan Nemer, announced on Monday that no new coronavirus infections were recorded in the West Bank and Gaza today.

Nemer said in a press conference in Ramallah that “all the tests made yesterday are negative.”

“Everyone should stay at their homes”, he said. “All those, who break the curfew shall be liable to punishment”, he added.

The Palestinian Prime Minister, Muhammad Ishtayyeh, has announced on Sunday a curfew among other emergency measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

(Source / 23.03.2020) 

Israeli occupation murder Palestinian youth in West Bank

‘While the world is busy in fighting the outbreak of the coronavirus, Israeli occupation continues killing the Palestinians and carrying out aggression on their rights,’ Palestinian resistance group said

Israeli occupation forces opened first on Monday night at two Palestinian youth near West Bank village of Na’lin, killing one and wounding the other.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health named the Palestinian, who was killed by the Israeli occupation forces, as Sufian al Khawaja, 29, noting he was from the village of Na’lin near the West Bank city of Salfit.

Israeli occupation forces captured the body of the Palestinian youth and said they had been chasing the other who was wounded.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the Israeli occupation forces prevented Palestinian paramedics from offering first aid treatment to the dead and left him bleeding to death.

The Israeli occupation forces claimed that the two Palestinians threw stones at Israeli settlers’ vehicles in the area so that they were targeted.

The Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas described the Israeli murder of the Palestinian youth at this time as an “immoral action” and “opportunism.”

In a statement, Hamas said: “While the world is busy in fighting the outbreak of the coronavirus, Israeli occupation continues killing the Palestinians and carrying out aggression on their rights.”

(Source / 23.03.2020) 

10 Palestinians Infected With COVID-19 In Italy

Photos File

Palestine’s ambassador to Italy, Abeer Odeh, announced today that 10 Palestinian nationals in Italy have tested positive for novel COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Odeh told in a phone call that two of the 10 Palestinians infected with COVID-19 have been placed in intensified care, while the rest of the patients have been quarantined at their homes.

She said the Palestinian embassy in Italy has been following up the conditions of those infected and with the rest of the Palestinian community in the country to ensure their wellbeing.

(Source / 23.03.2020) 

Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinian Motorist In North Of West Bank

Photos File

Israeli settlers today attacked with stones Palestinian motorist in the north of the West Bank, causing damage but no injuries.

A resident of Silat al-Dahr village, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, told that settlers threw stones at his car near his village breaking its windows and hijacking the car after he and his family were able to get out of it and run away.

He said he filed a complaint with the Palestinian police, who contacted their Israeli counterparts and got the car back.

(Source / 23.03.2020)