Israeli Soldiers, Police, Invade Silwan To Accompany American Delegation

Dozens of Israeli soldiers and police officers invaded, on Wednesday evening, Wadi Hilweh Palestinian neighborhood in Silwan town, in occupied Jerusalem, to accompany an American delegation visiting an illegal colonialist outpost.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) has reported that the soldiers closed the neighborhood, and assaulted many residents, to facilitate the American delegation’s visit into the illegal colony dubbed as “The City Of David,” which was installed on Palestinian lands.

Silwanic stated that the soldiers and police officers were heavily deployed in the neighborhood, and several parts of the town, in addition to installing police barricades, preventing dozens of Palestinians from entering their neighborhoods and homes near the colonialist outpost.

Many soldiers, including sharpshooters, invaded Palestinian homes and occupied their rooftops, to use them as monitoring towers, while earlier in the day, the soldiers also installed tents.

The Palestinians complained that, while the American officials were visiting an illegal colonialist outpost in their town, the natives of the town were not only assaulted and searched but were also not allowed to enter or leave their neighborhoods and homes.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers also assaulted and abducted, two young Palestinian men in the ath-Thoury neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem.

(Source / 19.11.2020)

Soldiers Assault And Abduct Two Palestinians In Jerusalem

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Israeli soldiers assaulted and abducted, on Wednesday evening, two young Palestinian men in the ath-Thoury neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers invaded the neighborhood and assaulted the two young men before abducting them.

The Palestinians have been identified as Laith ‘Aassi and Ibrahim Siyam; they were both taken to an interrogation facility in Jerusalem.

The soldiers also stopped and searched many Palestinians and vehicles, inspected the ID cards of the residents, while police officers ticketed many drivers and even pedestrians and maced several Palestinians, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) has reported.

In Silwan town, in Jerusalem, the soldiers prevented many Palestinians from reaching their homes and neighborhoods after closing several neighborhoods and a gas station.

(Source / 19.11.2020)

Israeli Soldiers Order Palestinian To Stop Work On His Land Near Salfit

Israeli soldiers invaded, Wednesday, Palestinian lands in the az-Zawiya town, west of Salfit in central West Bank, and placed orders informing the owner he must stop working on his land and to halt the construction of an agricultural room.

The Palestinian, Salah Raddad, said his land is in the Khallet Rmeila area and added that the army claimed the lands are in an area designated as an “archaeological site.”

The lands are near the illegal annexation wall, and are located in both Area B and C of the occupied West Bank, under Israeli control.

Raddad stated that this is not the first time he receives these military orders, and added that the soldiers previously demolished a 32 square/meter agricultural room.

“I recently rehabilitated two Dunams of 25 I own in the area,” he said, “I paid a lot of money; however, apparently, the occupation wants me to stop so that Israel can confiscate and control my lands.”

The Mayor of Zawiya, Mahmoud Moqadi, said the army also handed Salah three orders, informing him that he needs to uproot recently planted trees, to stop the rehabilitation of the land and to halt the construction of a retaining wall.

“The area is frequently targeted by the army; two months ago, soldiers confiscated a bulldozer, owned by the town council, while rehabilitating a road in the area, in addition to installing an iron gate to restrict the movement of the villagers,” Moqadi stated, “The Palestinians also constantly receive orders to stop working on their lands. We will head to legal and human rights groups to see what options we have.”

In related news, the soldiers invaded Kisan Palestinian village, east of Bethlehem city, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank, and ordered four Palestinians to stop the construction of their homes.

(Source / 19.11.2020)

Palestinian Authority to Agrees to Restore Ties with Israel

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A Palestinian official announced, on Tuesday, that the relationship between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Israeli occupation will resume, the Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.

Chairman of the General Authority for Civil Affairs and member of Fatah Central Committee, Hussein Al-Sheikh, declared that Israel has reaffirmed its commitment to all previous signed agreements.

Al-Sheikh said that the relationship with Israel will return to the way it was prior to May, 19 2020.

WAFA also reported that Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesman for the Palestinian presidency, said that the leadership is awaiting the position of the US president-elect Joe Biden’s administration regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Rudeineh added that President Abbas is determined to organize an international peace conference, with the goal of ending Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and establishing an independent Palestinian state.

In the besieged Gaza Strip, the Hamas Resistance Movement criticized the PA’s decision to restore ties with Israel in a statement Tuesday, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

The statement asserted that the PA’s unilateral move goes against the collective Palestinian principles and values, and undermines the resolute efforts towards national unity, necessary to confront the occupation, annexation, and normalization.

The resistance movement demanded that the PA rescind its decision, and called for “real national unity based on a comprehensive national program that stems from the strategy of confrontation with the criminal occupation will only liberate the land, protect rights and expel the occupation.”

(Source / 19.11.2020)

OCHA: West Bank Demolitions and Displacement | October 2020

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (UN-OCHA)

Summary for October 2020

  • Removal of donor-funded network disrupts water supply to over 1,000 people in herding communities.
  • Requisitioning of structures without prior notice continues.
  • Freeze on the demolition of inhabited homes in East Jerusalem holds.
  • Punitive sealing in Ya’bad village (Jenin) displaces a family of ten.

In October, the Israeli authorities targeted 47 Palestinian-owned structures, displacing 41 people and otherwise affecting the livelihoods or access to services of over 1,200 others. All structures, except for one sealed on punitive grounds, were targeted due to a lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain. This month witnessed 16 consecutive days in which no demolition or seizure was recorded, resulting in a 24 per cent decline in the number of affected structures, compared with the monthly average in 2020 (62).

Of the structures targeted in October, twelve had been provided as humanitarian aid, for a total cost of nearly 25,000 euros. A donor-funded water cistern serving a school in Ramallah was issued a demolition order.

Three of this month’s incidents occurred in the Massafer Yatta area of Hebron, which is declared closed for Israeli military training (‘Firing Zone 918’). The Israeli authorities have been seeking for years to evict the 1,400 Palestinians residing in 14 herding communities in this area, on the grounds that they are residing illegally in a closed military area.

In one of these incidents, on 28 October, the Israeli authorities removed part of a donor-funded network supplying water to eight communities in Massafer Yatta. The demolition resulted in a complete disruption of water distribution to over 1,000 people, including 630 children. As a result, these communities have had to rely exclusively on the delivery of tanks of water, at a cost of about NIS 40 (10 euros) per cubic metre compared to NIS 6 (1,5 euros) they paid for the piped water.

The continuous targeting of water and sanitation structures amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic remains of serious concern, with the vulnerability of affected people further compounded by the onset of winter.

Fourteen (14) of the structures targeted in October were dismantled and seized without prior notice, based on military regulations that allow for the summary requisition of structures defined by an Israeli Civil Administrator (ICA) inspector as “movable.”

Another 11 structures, including one donor-funded residential shelter, were demolished on the basis of Military Order 1797, which allows for the removal of unlicensed structures deemed as “new”, as soon as 96 hours of the issuance of a “removal order” (in practice, implementation has taken around two weeks).

Both practices – requisitions without notice and expedited demolitions – have been on the rise since the beginning of 2020, accounting for approximately 40 per cent of all targeted structures. They leave people with little or no possibility to object the targeting of their properties and, in some cases, their displacement, before any administrative or judicial instance.

Four uninhabited structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, two by the authorities and two by the owners, following the issuance of demolition orders. As of end-October, about a half of the 145 structures demolished in East Jerusalem in 2020 were demolished by their owners, to reduce the fines and expenses imposed by the municipality.

On 21 October, the Israeli authorities punitively sealed part of a home in Area A of Ya’bad village (Jenin), belonging to a Palestinian indicted for the killing of a soldier during a search-and-arrest operation in May. A family of ten, including seven children, was displaced as a result. So far in 2020, six homes have been demolished or sealed on punitive grounds, a practice that human rights officials have declared collective punishment, which is absolutely prohibited under international law.

See the full report.

(Source / 19.11.2020)

Nickolay Mladenov Briefs UN Security Council on the Situation in Palestine

The following is a portion of the transcript of Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefing the UN Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East, 18 November 2020

  • Palestinian Authority – Israeli Renew Ties

For these reasons, I welcome the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) decision to restart civilian and security coordination with Israel. I express my appreciation to Israel for confirming that existing bilateral agreements continue to govern relations between both parties, particularly in the context of economic, security and civilian affairs.

I have previously expressed hope that recognition of the interdependence of Israelis and Palestinians could, with political will and leadership, translate into tangible progress towards a resolution of the conflict. Both sides should understand the importance of respecting the validity and continuing force of the framework that they have agreed to govern their relations. Although the existing agreements fall short of meeting the aspirations for peace, security and statehood for the Palestinian people, they provide the basic foundation without which even the beginnings of a return to meaningful negotiations will not be possible.

  • West Bank Demolitions

In a concerning development, on 3 November Israeli authorities carried out the most extensive demolition in the occupied West Bank in the past decade, destroying over 70 structures, including homes, in the Bedouin village of Humsa Al Bqai’a, in Area C. Seventy-three people were displaced, including 41 children. Their vulnerability is compounded by the onset of winter and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Home demolitions in East Jerusalem also resumed during the reporting period after a pause of several weeks.

In total, 153 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem were demolished or seized.
They displaced 96 Palestinians, including 22 women and 51 children, and affecting some 1,400 others. The demolitions and seizures were executed due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain. In addition, three structures were demolished by their owners to avoid the payment of additional fines.

On 28 October, Israeli authorities cut a donor-funded pipe supplying water to 14 herding communities in the Masafer Yatta area of Hebron, home to about 1,400 people. Amid the pandemic, depriving these communities of water could have particularly grave health consequences.

On 2 November, the Israeli Government informed the High Court of Justice that during the next four months it would not demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar. In its explanation, the Government cited COVID-19 restrictions and “additional considerations” as reasons for the delay and said that it would use the additional time to exhaust efforts to reach an agreement with residents.

I reiterate my call on Israeli authorities to cease demolitions, seizures of Palestinian property and efforts to relocate communities in the occupied West Bank. Such actions are contrary to international law and could undermine the chances for the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.

  • 1,200 Settlement Units

In another concerning development, on 15 November, Israeli authorities opened the bidding process for construction of 1,200 housing units in the Givat Hamatos settlement. If built, this project would further consolidate a ring of settlements between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. It would also significantly damage prospects for a future contiguous Palestinian State, and for achieving a negotiated two-State solution based on the 1967 lines, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states. I call for this step to be reversed.

  • Israeli/Palestinian Violations

Sporadic violent incidents unfortunately continued in parts of the OPT during the reporting period as well.

In Gaza, militants fired two rockets and released two incendiary balloons towards Israel during the reporting period, with no injuries reported. The IDF fired five shells and missiles into Gaza in retaliation, also no injuries were reported.

Turning to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, one Palestinian was killed and 21 injured, including eight children, in clashes, attacks, search and arrest operations, and other incidents. One Israeli soldier was injured in these incidents.

On 30 October, Israeli soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian vehicle travelling near Jenin, injuring three children. The circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear, with the IDF claiming the vehicle posed a threat.

On 4 November, an off-duty officer in the Palestinian Security Forces, who according to the IDF shot towards Israeli soldiers, was shot dead near Huwwara, south of Nablus.

On 8 November, a Palestinian man, who allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack near Hebron, was injured and arrested by the Israeli Security Forces.

Meanwhile, settlers perpetrated some 17 attacks against Palestinians, resulting in the injury of one child and damage to property.

Palestinians allegedly perpetrated 23 attacks against Israeli settlers and other civilians in the West Bank, resulting in four injuries and damage to property.

As the olive harvest season continues, there were incidents of settlers damaging Palestinian olive groves and agricultural fields. Over 190 trees were burnt or otherwise damaged and large amounts of produce were reportedly stolen.

On a positive note, as in previous years, hundreds of Palestinian and Israeli volunteers joined Palestinian farmers across the West Bank to assist in the olive harvest and provide protection from harassment and violence.

All perpetrators of violence must be held accountable.

(Source / 19.11.2020)

If Israel Isn’t An Apartheid State, Neither Was South Africa

By Robert Inlakesh

Newly elected member of the British Labour Party’s national executive committee, Gemma Bolton, is being investigated by the Party over calling Israel an Apartheid State. This was followed by claims that she was anti-Semitic for stating as such. Here is why she is correct and pro-Israel advocates are misusing the accusation of anti-Semitism when it comes to this comparison.

To address the issue of whether Israel is in fact an Apartheid regime, we first have to establish a distinction between the word “Apartheid” as defined to describe the white South Afrikaners Regime of systematic oppression used against the indigenous population of South Africa and the later accepted definition which became applicable describing a similar structure used against any other groups of people who are subjugated by this type of State legislated racial discrimination. The latter is, like its former, illegal under customary international law and is defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as follows: ““The crime of apartheid” means inhumane acts… committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime”.

After having established our working definition of Apartheid, we can now avoid the semantic evasions which Israel advocates will attempt to use in order to deligitimise the premise of an argument to indite Israel as an Apartheid regime.

Apartheid is in violation of the United Nations (UN) charter and when the Apartheid Convention was adopted in 1973 by the UN General Assembly, the vote was unanimous with 90 nations voting against 4. Notably, amongst the four Nations voting against this adoption were the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa itself. This is a significant point to note, as with most votes cast to condemn Israeli criminality in the UN, it is often only the US, Israel itself and sometimes the UK along with a few small Island nations who are outvoted unanimously by most of the world also. This similarity is key, given that the Israeli claim of anti-Semitism factoring into UN votes against it, is clearly debunked when we look at the voting record against the late Apartheid Regime in South Africa.

The system of Zionist power which developed in Palestine, as stated by Patrick Wolfe, “caused the doctrine evolved into a tool of ethnic conflict, as Jewish industries were actively discouraged from employing non-Jewish labour, even though Arabs worked for lower wages and, in many cases, more efficiently”. This is important to understand when it comes to giving comparisons to South Africa’s former Apartheid system, which, from its earliest developing stages undermined Black South African’s to the advantage of White South African’s.

The issue that connects both South Africa and Israel, perhaps above others, is the fact that they are both products of European Settler Colonialism, which fall into the category depicted by Ran Greenstein which suggests that Settler Colonialism “…identifies a cluster of societies in which colonial rule was combined with large-scale immigration of European settlers. Politically, allows us to focus on resilient forms of domination that serve the interests of the settlers who made a new home for themselves in overseas territories.”.

In Israel some of the most notable legislated initiatives to keep Palestinians inferior to Jews are the “Law of Return (1950) and Israeli Citizenship Law (1952) establishing the privileged group of “Jewish nationals of Israel”; Basic Law: the Knesset (1958), Amendment 9 (1985) providing that Israel is the “state of the Jewish people”, allowing exclusion parliamentary elections of political parties that challenge this principle; Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty (1992) restricting fundamental human rights with the proviso that these must be in conformity with the values of Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state””. The Laws evidently discriminate against non-Jewish citizens, as does the newly accepted ‘Nation State’ bill, passed in 2018, amongst many others.

The struggle against Settler Colonialism is also similar, as forms of peaceful protest and violent resistance have been used by the indigenous populations of South Africa and Palestine alike, suffering under what they see/saw as Settler Colonial rule or occupation. In the eyes of many prominent indigenous South African’s, who fought against Apartheid, the Palestinian oppression is very much similar to what they endured. One such prominent South African is Desmond Tutu, who said: “their [Palestinian] humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.”.

Like the Zionist Movement’s declaration of the establishment of Israel in 1948, the (White Afrikaner) National Party also seized power in 1948. Apartheid in South Africa is characterised by the likes of John Dugard and John Reynolds as resting on three pillars; discrimination, territorial fragmentation and political repression. Where Apartheid in Israel differs is in the nuances. South Africa’s Apartheid system was specific to that regime, just as Israeli Apartheid is tailored to the Zionist regime. The political repression that exists in Palestine today, as well as the territorial fragmentation and systematic discrimination, differs between three separate systems of oppression. The Palestinians living in what is now Israel were under military law – a different rule to that of the Jewish Israeli population – until 1966. Now the occupied peoples of the Gaza Strip and West Bank remain under Military Law, whilst Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are denied citizenship to Israel and the Palestinians of Israel are discriminated against under specific legislation passed through the Knesset (Israeli Parliament). These three systems are different, yet all discriminate against Palestinians, with the occupied people of the Gaza Strip and West Bank suffering the most under their system, forming a type of hierarchy of oppression exacted upon Palestinians living between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea. Although discrimination occurs against those Palestinians, once under Military Law, Apartheid is often generally used to refer to and examined in the ‘Palestinian Occupied Territories’ (Gaza and West Bank).

Often the argument of Israel having implemented an Apartheid Regime, evokes the question as to whether the discrimination faced by Palestinians is based upon race, which can be answered by quoting an Internationally accepted conceptual definition, which is explained on the bases of understanding laid out by, M. Banton, in ‘The Idea of Race (1977)’, “…[Race] has long been shown as social construct rather than scientific reality, with a process of ‘racialization’ entailing the social utilization of the concept of race as a biological category in order to organize and distort perceptions of the world’s various populations.”.

To further expand upon the idea of Israel having established an Apartheid Regime, it has to be noted that a report from The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) in 2009 found that Israeli Laws implemented in the Palestinian Occupied Territories (OPT) was akin to discrimination based upon identity. In fact, on the issue of the Israeli Settler Colonial State ideology, Zionism was ruled by the United Nations General Assembly to be a form of Racism in 1975. This adoption was later revoked in 1991 due to political pressure, however it points to how mainstream the political discourse was, on the nature of Israel being a racist State, at one stage. In fact, prior to the PLO having accepted negotiations, effectively selling out the Palestinian cause, this sort of political dialogue on Israel was perhaps more accepted than it is today. It can’t be that we just ignore third world resistance as simply an old Cold War trend, in which the Palestinian cause is to be buried in the pages of old books, just due to the struggles old representatives having sold out, because people are still being oppressed, which requires action now.

Although there are several differences between the systems of discrimination implemented in Israel/Palestine and under the former South African regime, it is clear that on the most essential of principles which can be accorded to an Apartheid Regime, the two are more similar than they are different. Right now it is controversial to discuss the issue of Apartheid in Israel/Palestine throughout much of the English speaking world, however, up until the fall of the Apartheid regime in South Africa it was also controversial and only ceased causing political backlash when the Apartheid Regime was on its last legs. One day, perhaps the comparisons will become more obvious, when the systems of injustice fall in Israel/Palestine, as they did in South Africa, then those who fought for Palestinian human rights today, will later be looked back upon as allies in a struggle for Justice.

This is a subject that has been written upon extensively, with much more in depth analyses having been offered than this, proving the severity of the systems of racial injustice installed in Palestine. However, the purpose of this article is to provide the reader with some easy examples to show how you can construct an argument against Zionists who insist that you are a vicious anti-Semite for even associating the two things. The aim that Zionists have, is to make all serious criticism of Israel akin to anti-Semitism in the eyes of the public and establishment. No one should stand for such a dangerous precedent being set, as this only fuels real anti-Semitism and also works to silence voices for Palestinian Human Rights.

At the end of the day, we here in the West do not have any guns pointed at our heads, we don’t have the fear of our children being targeted by predator drones – as the Palestinians of Gaza do – so we should not fear being called a word, if it is not true. If you apologise, this implies you are guilty and every time you apologise for being anti-Semitic, when you were simply calling out Israeli government policy, you help silence criticism of Israel.

For anyone reading this article who feels Israel is not a racist regime, I challenge you to find one other country on earth today, which has more racist laws than Israel. When you discover that there isn’t one, then you are left to either accept that Israel is racist, or to attempt to argue that there is no such thing as institutionalized racism all together.

(Source / 19.11.2020)

Republican senators urged West Bank goods to be labeled ‘Made in Israel’

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A group of four Senate Republicans sent a letter to US President Donald Trump on Monday, urging him to allow Israeli goods produced in the West Bank to be labeled ‘Made in Israel.’

“We write to urge you to change U.S. customs policy and guidelines to allow Israeli goods
produced in Judea and Samaria to be labeled “Made in Israel,” the letter stated.

The letter, signed by Sens. Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Kelly Loeffler, asks Trump’s administration to reverse a Clinton-era customs policy that requires Israeli goods produced in the area to have “Made in West Bank” label.

Senator Ted Cruz@SenTedCruz

ICYMI: I joined my colleagues @SenTomCotton, @MarcoRubio, and @SenatorLoeffler in sending a letter urging POTUS to issue an EO ending any discriminatory labeling of goods produced anywhere across Israel’s territories.

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Senate Republicans Urge White House to Expand ‘Made in Israel’ Policy – Washington Free BeaconSenate Republicans wrote a letter this week urging the White House to expand its “Made in Israel” policy to include the West Bank.

Israeli goods produced in Judea and Samaria should be allowed to be labeled ‘Made in Israel.’

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Cotton, Colleagues Urge Administration to Change Israeli Goods Labeling Policycotton.senate.gov

“Your administration should continue its string of pro-Israel policy changes by undoing these
misguided Clinton-era guidelines, thereby allowing Israeli goods produced in Judea and Samaria to be labeled as ‘Made in Israel,’” the Republicans stated in the letter.

“Unfortunately, the United Nations and some prominent members of the Democratic Party are working to oppose Israel and to support the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which seeks to isolate and damage Israel economically,” they added.

They also said that such decision would be “another achievement by Trump’s administration that would support Israel and would push back against anti-Semitism and the BDS movement.”

(Source / 19.11.2020)

Report: 44 schools across West Bank at risk of demolition by Israel

Palestinians insist that the demolitions are aimed at ending the Palestinian existence in area C

Some 44 Palestinian schools across ‘Area C’ of the occupied West Bank are at risk of complete or partial demolition, Al-Mujtama reported yesterday.

According to the Kuwaiti magazine, the Israeli occupation is planning the demolitions under the pretext that these schools did not have the licenses needed to be built.

However, Palestinians insist that the demolitions are aimed at ending the Palestinian existence in the area.

Area C constitutes about 61 per cent of the occupied West Bank and has been under Israeli military and civil control since the 1993 Oslo Accords.

The Kuwaiti magazine reported Palestinian media sources saying that homes and other facilities serving around 300,000 Palestinians living in Area C are at risk of demolition by the Israeli occupation at any time under the pretext of having no building licenses.

(Source / 19.11.2020)

UN envoy: Gaza ‘ill-equipped to face a major spike’ in COVID-19 cases


Gaza recorded on Wednesday 368 new cases, bringing the accumulated number of cases to 12,439 with 41 in a critical condition and 341 in need for medical care

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US Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, said on Wednesday that Gaza’s “crumbling infrastructure, poor living conditions and fragile healthcare system make it ill-equipped to face a major spike in [COVID-19] cases.”

In a briefing he made to the Security Council, Mladenov said: “We meet today as Palestinians and Israelis continue their efforts to prevent and control the spread of the deadly covid-19 virus. After weeks of declining numbers, however, active cases are again on the rise.”

He added: “Gaza remains the most immediate and pressing concern. Its crumbling infrastructure, poor living conditions and fragile healthcare system make it ill-equipped to face a major spike in cases.

“Already affected by severe movement and access restrictions, cycles of violent escalation and years of humanitarian and socio-economic calamity, the two million Palestinians living within Gaza’s confines would face catastrophic consequences from a major outbreak.”

The US envoy continued: “Eight months into the pandemic, Palestinian unemployment levels are alarmingly high – 121,000 Palestinians lost their jobs in the wake of the first lockdown and employment figures declined by 17 per cent in Gaza.

“Some 40 per cent of Palestinian households lost more than half their income in this period and food insecurity rates have soared. The most recent reports suggest any recovery will be slow and partial.”

Mladenov stated that “women and children continue to bear the brunt of the combined effect of the pandemic and the socio-economic crisis across the OPT.”

According to Mladenov, “the United Nations and its partners have continued to provide critical humanitarian and development assistance” in order to address this emergency.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza carried out 2,289 tests for COVID-19 on Wednesday and recorded 368 new cases, bringing the accumulated number of cases to 12,439 with 41 in a critical condition and 341 in need for medical care.

(Source / 19.11.2020)