Israeli racism and neglect exacerbate coronavirus crisis in Al-Quds

Jumaat, 24 April 2020 4:11:13 PTG

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.

Source: The Palestinian Information Center