[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Palestine and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Palestine Page co-editors or of Jadaliyya.]
The Occupation Forces
Israel Closes Border Crossings With West Bank, Gaza Israeli Occupation Authorities announced last night the full closure of all crossings with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as part of ongoing precautions against the spread of novel COVID-19.
Israeli Forces Shoot Dead Palestinian in West Bank Israeli forces fatally shot a Palestinian man in the head near the entrance of the occupied West Bank village of Nilin on Sunday. The Israeli army claimed that Sufian Khawaja was hurling stones at vehicles when he was shot dead.
Israel Holding the Body of Palestinian Shot And Killed By Soldiers The body of the thirty-two-year-old Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli soldiers for throwing rocks at cars in the occupied West Bank last night is being withheld from his family by the Israeli authorities. The Israelis confirmed that soldiers had shot Sufian al-Khawaja in the head as he drove through Ni’lin with his injured cousin, who the army claimed got away and was being pursued.
PLO Senior Official Says Israel Seized 95% of the Jordan Valley Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee, Dr. Saeb Erekat, has said that Israel has seized ninety-five percent of the Jordan Valley which is inhabited by 12,700 Israeli settlers while only 55,000 Palestinians live on the remaining five percent.
Palestine PM Orders Movement Restriction Between Cities Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Wednesday night ordered movement restriction between the Palestinian governorates and called on thousands of Palestinians who work in the illegal Israeli settlements not to go to their places of work, in order to control the spread of coronavirus.
Fear, Anxiety As Besieged Gaza Confirms First 2 Coronavirus Cases Palestinian officials have announced the first two cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, in the besieged Gaza Strip. He added that the two were placed in quarantine upon arrival and are now in a field hospital in the border town of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.
Netanyahu Accused of Dictatorship Amid Coronavirus Crisis Hundreds of people defied restrictions on large gatherings in Israel to protest outside the parliament as they accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government of exploiting the coronavirus crisis to solidify his power and undermine Israel's democratic foundations.
In Light of Their Mistreatment, Premier Calls on all Palestinians Working in Israel to Return Home In light of Israel’s mistreatment and abuse of Palestinians working inside Israel and the rise in the number of Israelis infected with coronavirus, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh yesterday called on all workers to return home and quarantine themselves for fourteen days upon their arrival.
Palestinian Volunteers Barred By Israeli Soldiers From Disinfecting Old Town of Hebron Israeli soldiers in control of the old town of the divided southern West Bank city of Hebron today barred Palestinian volunteers from disinfecting the neighborhoods and educating the local population on the coronavirus pandemic, according to a local activist.
‘The moment a worker is sick, they throw him to the checkpoint like a dog’ Based on two recent stories, it appears the Israeli authorities are simply dropping off sick Palestinian workers at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank without any concern for their health and safety.
Report: Blue and White Give Up on Possibility of Minority Government Blue and White party leaders have concluded that there is no chance of forming a minority government reliant on external support from the Joint List, reported Israel’s Channel 13 News. On Tuesday, Gantz stated in a Facebook post that he has not yet given up on the possibility of heading up a new government. But he has reportedly met with Netanyahu to discuss a unity government.
WHO Delegation Arrives in Gaza Strip A delegation from the World Health Organization arrived in the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, after announcing that two people were infected with the coronavirus. The World Health Organization has reportedly delivered hundreds of coronavirus test kits prior to its arrival.
UNRWA Launches COVID-19 US $14 Million Flash Appeal for Palestine Refugees The Flash Appeal that the agency launched today outlines the immediate priorities and financial requirements for health and other services related to the pandemic in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. This Flash Appeal is in addition to the regular UNRWA Program Budget needs.
UNRWA Urges Trump Admin to Restore Funding As It Stands At the Frontline of Palestine’s COVID-19 Crisis In 2018, the Trump administration cut all funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Over five million people in the region rely on the organization for social services, but now their work has become even more crucial in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Turkey Assures Palestine of Help to Fight Coronavirus According to a statement by Turkey’s Directorate of Communications, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mahmoud Abbas held a phone call to discuss recent developments and regional issues. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Erdogan stressed Turkey’s support for Palestine in combating the virus.
Qatar Donating $150mn to Support Gaza’s Coronavirus Battle Qatar will be sending 150 million dollars in aid to the besieged Gaza Strip to support United Nations humanitarian programs and efforts to help combat the new coronavirus outbreak, the state-run Qatari Committee to Rebuild Gaza announced on Twitter on 23 March.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinian House North of Nablus Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement construction in the northern West Bank, told WAFA that a group of settlers stormed the site of the former colonial settlement outpost of Homesh, evacuated in 2005, and attacked a Palestinian house in Burqa, causing damages to it.
Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinian Farmers in Northwest Ramallah Village Israeli settlers today attacked Palestinian residents of the village of Umm Safa, northwest of Ramallah, injuring two, according to the head of the village council Marwan Sabbah. He told WAFA that settlers attacked with sharp tools village farmers as they were working on their land and injured two people.
Settlers Exploit Coronavirus Lockdown For Land Grab Near Jerusalem An Israeli settler Monday exploited the full lockdown imposed in the occupied territories to raze Palestinian land between Rafat and Qalandia towns, northwest of Jerusalem, said a municipal source.
Israeli Settlers Set up Tents on Palestinian Land in Jordan Valley, a Prelude For Takeover Illegal Jewish settlers set up tents and a caravan today on a Palestinian land near the village of Khallet Hamad in the Jordan Valley region, the occupied West Bank, said a local source, seen as a prelude for taking over the land.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
MuzzleWatch: Breaking Down The Legal Attack Against The BDS Movement Rob Lipton, part of Jewish Voice for Peace, goes into the legal details about the fight over the BDS movement in the US court system.
PHROC Calls for an Urgent Intervention to Protect Palestinian Prisoners Amid COVID-19 In letters to the International Committee of the Red Cross and to the diplomatic elite in Palestine, the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council urgent appeals to address the rapidly deteriorating conditions of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails in light of the continuing spread of the novel coronavirus disease, transmitted from Israeli prison guards.
Palestinian Prisoner's Commission Calls For Release of Detainees The Commission for Prisoners Affairs at the Palestinian Liberation Organization has called on the United Nations to urge Israeli authorities to release Palestinian detainees held in Israeli jail amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus.
Palestinian Prisoner in Israel Sets Fire to Room for Guards to Protest Lack of Health Measures A Palestinian political prisoner in the Israeli Nafha prison in the south of Israel set fire this morning to a room used by the prison guards to protest the prison administration’s neglect of the health conditions for the prisoners. The prisoner was immediately place in solitary confinement in the prison.
Israel Refutes Claims that 4 Palestinian Prisoners Tested Positive For Coronavirus Four Palestinian prisoners held inside of Israel may have tested positive for the novel coronavirus according to a Palestinian prisoner rights group, however, the diagnosis was quickly disputed by other Palestinian officials and Israel’s ministry of health.
An Unlikely Nemesis: Maverick Lawyer Sues Israel Supporters Over Human Rights Martin McMahon has just sued Benjamin Netanyahu, Miriam Adelson, AIPAC (and assorted AIPAC operatives), David Friedman, Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Andrew Cuomo, Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell and a few other adherents of Zionism in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging they are “war criminals” or aiders and abettors of war criminals.
ICC Postpones Procedures Against Israel Due to Coronavirus According to the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, the ICC’s Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that the procedures against Israel would be delayed for at least a month, citing the global coronavirus pandemic.
Environment, Economy, and Other
PA Receives $25mln Tax Revenues Withheld by Israel The Palestinian Authority on Monday received twenty-five million US dollars of the tax revenues withheld by Israel, a senior Palestinian official said. Ibrahim Melhem, spokesman of the Palestinian government, told reporters in Ramallah that the twenty-five million US dollars are part of three hundred million dollars of tax revenues that Israel has been holding for months.
Palestine Ministry of Economy Halts Import of Tnuva Products The Ministry of National Economy announced on Wednesday, the cessation of the supply of the products of the “Tnuva” Israeli company, after one Palestinian worker was infected with the coronavirus, while fifteen other workers were put in quarantine.
How a Palestinian Shoemaker Started the West Bank’s Only Mask Factory Overnight Two days after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Bethlehem, Amjad Zaghir, a shoe factory owner from the Palestinian city of Hebron, realized the West Bank would soon run out of face masks. Less than three weeks later, he is now the only mask manufacturer there. What started as an experiment days after the coronavirus outbreak in the West Bank is now a factory producing thousands of masks a day.
Hamas Calls on PA to Lift Gaza Sanctions to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus The Hamas government has urged the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to lift economic sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip in 2017. According to The Jerusalem Post, Hamas said in a statement it “invited Palestinian factions and the Ministry of Health to contribute to the fight against COVID-19.”