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March 2020

See also:
from Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council:


World Bank: Palestinian economy could contract by 11% due to COVID-19
Jerusalem Post  •  1 June 2020

“The Palestinian economy could contract by as much as 11% this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, after already struggling to survive due to a financial spat with Israel and falling donor funds, the World Bank reported on Monday…Last year, 14% of Palestinians in the West Bank and 54% in the Gaza Strip lived below the poverty line, the report stated. Those numbers could rise to 30% in the West Bank and 64% in Gaza, the World Bank said.”

Israel Police Tell Anti-annexation Activists Not to Promote Protest on Facebook
Haaretz  •  3 June 2020

“The police are forbidding organizers of a demonstration against Isreal’s alleged plan to annex parts of the West Bank from holding the protest, arguing that it would contravene reinstated coronavirus regulations. They have also asked demonstrators to limit Facebook announcements of upcoming rallies in order to put a damper on the number of participants. At a meeting with the police, they were told that the police would not approve marches due to coronavirus restrictions. However, this is not specified in measures that were announced earlier. Many buses have been organised to bring protesters from all around the country to Saturday’s rally.”

Knesset postpones debates as Joint List MK contracts coronavirus
Ynet  •  4 June 2020

“The Knesset officials have postponed all debates after Joint List MK Sami Abu Shehadeh tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday night. Shehadeh entered self-isolation on Monday after his personal driver tested positive for COVID-19. His party members from the Balad faction, which makes up the political alliance of predominantly Arab parties, have also all entered quarantine.”

Israel suspends parliament after lawmaker tests positive for coronavirus
Al-Monitor  •  4 June 2020
“’All Knesset workers have been instructed to not arrive at parliament if their work is not essential,’ a statement from parliament said. Committee meetings were also postponed Thursday ‘until all the ramifications are examined.’ Sami Abu Shehadeh, a member of the Joint List coalition in parliament, received a positive test result Wednesday evening. The other members of the Balad party, his faction of the Joint List, are currently in quarantine. ‘I appeal to all of those who have been in my immediate vicinity to self-isolate and get tested,’ Shehadeh tweeted.

He continued, ‘The virus still exists between us and the return to normal is helping the virus spread in a large and fast way’.”

Coronavirus pandemic reportedly hitting female workers hardest, study says
Ynet  •  18 June 2020
“According to the figures, although women represent slightly less than 50% of the working population, they have accounted for 56% of unemployment claims filed with the Israeli government since March 1. ‘This is of great concern to us,’ added Bowers, who fears that this situation will have a significant negative impact on the progress made by women in Israel concerning employment rights and equal treatment.”

Despite rising infections, top health official says lockdown unnecessary
The Times of Israel  •  21 June 2020
“Levy, who took up the post last week, said younger people make up a higher percentage of the sick, relative to the period between March and May. New infections have been detected in over 50 communities, which he said indicates ‘broad community spread.’ With some 15,000 daily tests, the number of those coming back positive has climbed from 1.3 percent to over 2%, he said.”

Palestinian Authority places 2 West Bank cities on lockdown over rise in

coronavirus cases
JTA  •  21 June 2020
“he Palestinian Authority placed two major West Bank cities, Hebron and Nablus, on lockdown following a steep rise in COVID-19 cases. The PA said Saturday that more than 100 Palestinians in the West Bank tested positive for the coronavirus in 24 hours, Ynet reported. Over the next five days, the cities will under a strict curfew, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said. Only grocery stores and pharmacies will be permitted to open, as well as factories which produce what is described as essential products. All social gatherings in the West Bank have been cancelled. There have been a total of 1022 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the West Bank since the start of the pandemic, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported. Some 41 cases were discovered in Hebron on Saturday alone.”

Despite rising infections, top health official says lockdown unnecessary
The Times of Israel  •  21 June 2020
“Levy, who took up the post last week, said younger people make up a higher percentage of the sick, relative to the period between March and May. New infections have been detected in over 50 communities, which he said indicates ‘broad community spread.’ With some 15,000 daily tests, the number of those coming back positive has climbed from 1.3 percent to over 2%, he said.”

Netanyahu warns fines for virus violators will dramatically increase
Ynet  •  22 June 2020
“Israel over the past few weeks has seen a resurgence of COVID-19 as more and more businesses reopen, with the daily toll topping 300 new cases on Friday for the first time since the peak of the epidemic in mid-April.”

Israel, Palestinians tighten restrictions as COVID-19 spreads
Israel Hayom  •  24 June 2020
“Israel’s cabinet on Wednesday moved ahead with legislation to resume the use of the Shin Bet security agency counter-terrorism surveillance technology to track infections, a practice that had been halted on June 9 amid objections by privacy watchdogs, officials said. The bill still has to pass a vote in the Knesset. A partial lockdown went into effect in a town in a small town in central Israel and several neighborhoods in the city of Tiberias where infection rates were particularly high. The Palestinian Authority put the city of Hebron on lockdown and announced that this Friday’s public prayers would be suspended, though mosques would otherwise remain open in line with health precautions.”

Netanyahu says Israel, UAE to cooperate in fight against coronavirus
Ynet  •  25 June 2020
“Netanyahu said a formal announcement on working together with the UAE on confronting the COVID-19 pandemic was imminent and would be made by the UAE and Israeli health ministers. There was no immediate confirmation from the UAE about an agreement. Such cooperation would come at a time of strong Arab opposition to Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank – territory Palestinians seek for a state – under a U.S. peace plan. Last week, the UAE’s minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said it could work with Israel on some areas, including the battle against the coronavirus and on technology, despite political differences.” Also See – “Israel Announces Partnership With U.A.E., Which Throws Cold Water On It” (New York Times)

Coronavirus Israel Live: Cabinet Approves More Restricted Zones as Cases Surge
Haaretz  •  29 June 2020
“Israel and the West Bank are dealing with a renewed outbreak. This has led to the closure of a large number of schools throughout the country, and the imposition of new restrictions on specific areas. As the prospect of an Israeli annexation of the West Bank looms, Israel has also brought back the rule demanding that Palestinian workers do not travel back to the West Bank, this time until July 17, under their employer’s reponsibility.”

Arab ministers call for collective action for Palestinians amid COVID-19 pandemic
Arab News  •  29 June 2020
“The council of Arab ministers of social affairs has urged regional governments and organizations to help vulnerable groups fight COVID-19, including Palestinians. The ministers issued on Sunday a statement calling for collective action to help Palestinian authorities in the face of the pandemic – as they are already embattled with internal conflicts. They highlighted the importance of tending to vulnerable communities in the region, including internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees, state-run KUNA has reported.”

Palestinian Authority Locks Down Hebron, Nablus as Cases Rise
Haaretz  •  29 June 2020
“Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced new restrictions in the West Bank, including a five-day lockdown in the Hebron District and a 48-hour curfew in the Nablus District, following a rise in new coronavirus cases. Most gatherings will be banned, including weddings, graduation parties and conferences, and funerals will be limited in size. According to Shtayyeh, cases rose after many restrictions were lifted because people haven’t been abiding by the regulations issued by the government. He also said many new cases originate from Palestinian workers or patients who went into Israel and then returned to the West Bank. ‘I call all of our brothers within the Green Line not to enter the West Bank at all for 14 days’ he said”

COVID-19 spikes in east Jerusalem due to ongoing Green Line crossings
Jerusalem Post  •  30 June 2020
“As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 2,698 cases of coronavirus in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, including an increase of 255 new cases confirmed since Monday, according to Palestinian Authority government spokesperson Ibrahim Milhim. The current wave of the novel coronavirus has spread across the West Bank, with large spikes in Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah. Nine Palestinians have died from COVID-19, including a 44-year-old Hebron resident on Tuesday. Five east Jerusalem residents have died.”


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