[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
For the Second Day in a Row, Israeli Navy Attacks, Injures Palestinian Fishermen in Gaza Sea The Israeli navy chased Palestinian fishing boats in the northern Gaza coast to force them to return to shore and opened fire at them injuring two fishermen with rubber-coated metal bullets. They were taken to hospital in Gaza where they were reported as in moderate a condition.
Israel Opens Sewage Tunnels to Allow Smuggling of Palestinian Workers into West Bank Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Israel, with over 9,500 cases and nearly eighty deaths reported so far, Israeli Occupation Forces opened today several wastewater tunnels near the West Bank city of Qalqilia to smuggle Palestinian workers in Israel back into the West Bank. Governor of Qalqilia, Rafi' Rawajbeh, said the opening of the wastewater tunnels was an attempt by Israel to undermine the efforts of the Palestinian government to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem: Mosques Will Remain Closed During Ramadan The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories, sheikh Muhammad Hussein, announced that all mosques will remain closed during the emergency period, including during the month of Ramadan.
Palestine Confirms Second Coronavirus Death & Confirms Three New Cases Palestine Friday afternoon announced the second death from the novel coronavirus confirms three new coronavirus cases which raised the number of people infected in Palestine to 266.
Central Lab in Gaza Strip Runs Out of Supplies to Process COVID-19 Tests: Ministry Warns The central laboratory in the besieged Gaza Strip has run out of necessary supplies to process COVID-19 tests, the Palestinian health ministry says, as the densely populated enclave faces a race against time to contain the fast-growing pandemic.
Holy Sepulcher Closed on Easter for First Time Since 1349 A few priests celebrated Holy Saturday at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher this year, following severe restriction on gatherings and movement due to the coronavirus outbreak. This is the first time the church is closed on Easter since Black Death in 1349, after it was closed on 25 March, over fears of the coronavirus pandemic.
Israel: Netanyahu, Gantz Coalition Talks End With No Deal A meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and leader of the Blue and White party, Benny Gantz, on the formation of a national emergency government, ended without result. The two parties announced, in a statement issued after nearly six hours of talks, that “they will meet again on Wednesday evening after the Jewish Passover holiday.”
Israel to Open Coronavirus Testing Centers in Occupied East Jerusalem Israel will open health clinics and coronavirus testing centers for 150,000 Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond Israel’s illegal separation wall. The decision comes in response to a petition filed to the High Court of Justice by Adalah, the Israeli Arab Minority Legal Center, earlier this month, calling on the government to provide coronavirus testing to residents in the Shuafat refugee camp and Kufr Aqab, in the central West Bank district of Jerusalem.
Israel Tells Palestinians to Use Tracking App to Verify Their Residency Status Palestinians living in Israel have been told to download an invasive app that verifies whether their residents’ permits are still valid, reported Israeli newspaper Haaretz, but the app also tracks the user’s movements and the messages received on the device.
EU Supports the Palestinians With a €71 million in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic The European Union representative announced today, during a meeting with the Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammed Shtayyeh, an assistance package of around seventy-one million euros to respond to the coronavirus pandemic in Palestine.
Members of US Congress Reaffirm Opposition to Unilateral Israeli Annexation of West Bank Territory Amidst reports of a new coalition government in Israel which agreed to move forward with unilateral annexation of West Bank territory, eleven members of the United States Congress yesterday issued a statement reaffirming opposition to Israeli annexation of occupied Palestinian territory.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Welcomes Arrival of Chinese Coronavirus Medical Supplies The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates today welcomed the arrival of the shipment of medical supplies donated by China to Palestine to curb the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. The ministry expressed in a statement its gratitude to the Chinese online shopping platform, Alibaba, for this donation, and confirmed that the medical supplies were handed over to the Ministry of Health.
Democratic pro-Israel Group Takes Credit for Sanders Dropping out, Fundraises Off keeping Dem Platform pro-Israel The lobby group Democratic Majority for Israel sent out an email this morning, celebrating the fact that Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race and gearing its supporters up for a fight to keep the Democratic platform pro-Israel.
UN Envoy Asks Israel to Release Palestinian Tax Revenues to Combat Covid-19 The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov has asked Israel to release the Palestinian tax revenue that it is withholding to allow the Palestinian Authority to combat the social and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
Egypt Opens Gaza Border, Allows Palestinians to Return Egypt has opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip allowing hundreds of Palestinians stranded as a result of the coronavirus outbreak to return to the besieged enclave, Anadolu Agency reported. The Hamas-run Ministry of Interior in the Gaza Strip said in a statement on 13 April that it had begun receiving Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israel Settlers Infected with Coronavirus Brutally Attack Palestinian Civilians The terror group known as “hilltop youth” from the notorious illegal settlement of Yitzhar, who were quarantined in an army post in the Jordan Valley after they were suspected to contracting the deadly coronavirus disease, escaped from their post and attacked two Palestinian men and beat a Palestinian woman until she was unconscious.
Abusing Pandemic: US & Israel to Approve Annexation Maps The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements stated in its latest weekly report, that annexation plans are no longer obstacle to the formation of a new Israeli government because of negotiations between Netanyahu and Gantz. The “A’raim” human rights organization stated that the government is exploiting the world’s preoccupation with confronting the novel coronavirus to escalate its ongoing aggression, noting Netanyahu’s vow to settlement leader David al-Hayani that annexation will occur soon.
Israeli Settlers Vandalize Palestinian Cemetery in North of West Bank Israeli settlers vandalized last night several tombstones in a Palestinian cemetery in the village of Burqa, north of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, said a local official. Settlers sneaked into the village from the evacuated settlement of Homesh and vandalized several tombstones in the village cemetery, said Ghassan Daghlas, who is monitoring settlers’ activities in the north of the West Bank.
Settlers Dump Palestinian Worker with Coronavirus Symptoms A Palestinian worker showing coronavirus symptoms was dumped today by Israeli settlers outside the illegal colonial settlement of Burkan, near the town of Salfit in the occupied West Bank, said Abdullah Kmail, the governor of Salfit. Kmail said the worker, who had not left his workplace in the settlement for several weeks, was found dumped near the Jewish settlement without being offered assistance from the Israeli employer.
Settlers Uproot 350 Olive Saplings Near Bethlehem Head of the Colonization Resistance Commission in Bethlehem, Hasan Breijieh, told WAFA that settlers from the colonial Israeli settlement of Sidi Boaz, nearby, uprooted about three hundred fifty olive saplings owned by local villagers.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
Report: FBI Opened Up Terrorism Investigations Into a Nonviolent Palestine Solidarity Org In an explosive new report at The Intercept, journalist Chip Gibbons reveals that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched multiple terrorism investigations into the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led movement that supports the rights of Palestinians through non-violent direct action.
Hamas Demands Release 250 Prisoners in Exchange For Information On Missing Israelis Hamas has demanded Israel release two hundred fifry Palestinian prisoners in return for confidential information about four Israeli prisoners of war held in Gaza. In exchange for the prisoners’ release, Hamas has offered to provide information regarding the bodies of two deceased Israeli soldiers Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and Sergeant Oron Shaul, as well as the alleged civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed who Hamas says are also soldiers.
World Vision Gaza Director Detained in Israel is in Serious Health Condition From Torture: Commission It said Mohammad Halabi, forty-two, from Jabalya refugee camp who was in charge of the Gaza Strip office of World Vision, is suffering from serious headaches and have lost hearing and may also lose sight in his eyes due to the torture he underwent after his arrest in Israel.
Environment, Economy, and Other
In Pictures: People in Gaza Take No Chances As Virus Threat Looms An outbreak of COVID-19 in the Gaza Strip would be catastrophic. Critical shortages of drugs, protective equipment, testing materials and ventilators in Gaza's hospitals mean people would be quickly overwhelmed by an outbreak. So far, only thirteen cases of the virus have been confirmed in Gaza, and all either remain in isolation or have recovered. But authorities and residents in Gaza are not taking any chances; even though the virus is not believed to be spreading in the community yet, much of the population is acting as if it is already a threat.
Palestine's Economic Losses From Coronavirus Estimated at $3.8 Billion: Shtayyeh Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said today that the total economic losses of Palestine as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are estimated at 3.8 billion dollars in all sectors.
For this Palestinian Engineer, Electricity Doesn’t Need to be a Luxury in Gaza Majd Mashharawi, a twenty-five-year-old civil engineer is working on expanding a solar energy project that she began in 2018, called SunBox. After working developing a small, lightweight solar panel that could be attached to household items, Mashharawi raised thirty-eight thousand dollars in seed money from a crowd-funding campaign.
Gaza's Library Goes Mobile During Coronavirus Lockdown Palestinians in Gaza launched an initiative to deliver library books to children living in refugee camps who have been ordered to stay at home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. “Bicycle: For us is life” was launched by Osama Fayyad who said books were trapped in libraries as a result of the virus and could not be reached by children. He brought together a team that sterilizes each book before delivering it to minors at home using bicycles.