Palestinians in Jerusalem stuck between growing COVID-19 threat, Israeli occupation

Palestinian Muslim worshipers perform the Friday prayer inside the al-Aqsa mosque, in Jerusalem’s Old City on July 10, 2020. (photo: Muhammed Qarout Idkaidek / APA Images)
Masks help protect from COVID-19, but there is little protection from Israeli authorities.

By Yumna Patel  | Mondoweiss  | Aug 18, 2020

Despite reports from the Ministry of Health that 60% of the total cases are in recovery, the number of new cases being reported every day are still in the hundreds.

 

It’s been five months since the first cases of the coronavirus were announced in the occupied Palestinian territories, and Palestinians are still struggling to fight the spread of the virus.

What began as a relatively slow burn, with no more than a few hundred cases within the first three months, quickly devolved into a rapidly growing crisis with the total number of cases in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza surpassing 23,000 cases.

Despite reports from the Ministry of Health that 60% of the total cases are in recovery, the number of new cases being reported every day are still in the hundreds.

In the past 24 hours alone, there were more than 612 new cases, a third of which were reported in occupied East Jerusalem, which has seen a surge in cases recently.

Since the beginning of the pandemic Palestinians in East Jerusalem, who live under the jurisdiction of Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, have reported major disparities in how Israeli authorities have handled containment efforts in their communities, versus Jewish Israeli communities in West Jerusalem.

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