[News] Israeli racism and neglect exacerbate coronavirus crisis in Jerusalem

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Apr 21 13:13:19 EDT 2020

racism and neglect exacerbate coronavirus crisis in JerusalemApril 21, 2020

The noticeably and alarmingly increasing number of COVID-19 cases in
Occupied Jerusalem speaks volumes about systematic racism and neglect
pursued by the Israeli government against the Palestinian residents of the
holy city.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 40% of COVID-19
(coronavirus) cases in the Palestinian territories since the outbreak
started are from Jerusalem and its outskirts.

Jerusalem’s residents have accused the Israeli government of deliberate
neglect, saying that the government does not reveal the real number of
COVID-19 cases in a thinly-veiled attempt to spread the disease among them.

They said that Israel is taking advantage of the pandemic to exert more
pressure on the Palestinians to force them to leave Jerusalem, especially
those living in neighborhoods that are close to Jewish communities.

Palestinian citizens from Wadi Qaddoum neighborhood in Silwan town, in the
east of Jerusalem, said that they have been subjected to deliberate neglect
at all levels.

No basic preventive measures, like street sterilization, have been taken to
protect the neighborhood from the novel virus, they said, adding that even
garbage containers are overfilled and stacked in the streets.

A large number of citizens have become unemployed without a way to earn an
income during the coronavirus crisis, yet they have been abandoned by the
Israeli government and Jerusalem municipality.

According to the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, no tests are conducted
even for people showing symptoms or people who have been in close contact
with confirmed cases, which raises many questions about the validity of the
statistics announced by the Israeli government.

Wadi Qaddoum’s residents protested the lack of health supplies and said
that they have not received anything from the aid sent to them from the
West Bank and other areas in Jerusalem.

*Restrictions on UNRWA*
UNRWA’s spokesman Sami Msha’sha’ said that the Israeli occupation
authorities are hindering UNRWA’s efforts to prevent the spread of
coronavirus in Jerusalem.

Msha’sha’ said that the Israeli authorities have tightened movement
restrictions blocking most of UNRWA activities in Jerusalem.

He warned that Israel’s noticeable escalation in arbitrary arrest and home
raid campaigns has added insult to injury and made Jerusalem residents more
vulnerable in light of the ongoing spread of coronavirus.
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