Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, March 2020
Frightening Consequences for Palestinians, if COVID-19 Spreads in Blockaded Gaza Strip and in Crowded Israeli Occupation Government Prisons
March 24, 2020
While brutal force has been used to create Zionist Israel and sustain it thus far, Zionist claims to Palestine are false. Actually, from the five thousand years of known written history, there has been a continuous Palestinian-Canaanite presence in the Holy Land. Despite the Zionist false claims, the ancient Israelites ruled part of the land for only 85 years (during the reign of David, Solomon, and Solomon's son).
After that, the Egyptians conquered Palestine-Canaan in 925 BC, followed by Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans, before the Arab Muslim rule, starting from 636 AD.
By the Time Jesus started his mission, the three population groups of Canaanites, Palestinians, and Israelites were melted together in religion and language. Most of them became Christians when Constantine converted in 313 AD. Then, most of them became Muslims in the 7th and 8th centuries AD.
So, Palestinian Muslims, Christians, and Jews are the ones who have the right to claim descent from ancient Israelites, Palestinians, and Canaanites, not Zionists from other continents.
The following news stories are just examples of the Israeli occupation government violations of Palestinian human rights, on daily basis.More detailed news stories can be found at the following sources:
http://english.wafa.ps/, https://english.palinfo.com/, https://imemc.org/, https://paltoday.ps/ar/
PHRI calls on the Israeli occupation government to provide Gaza with missing equipment and assist patients needing treatment
March 24, 2020 1:19 AM IMEMC News
Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) has called on the Israeli occupation government so-called Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) to provide Gaza with the equipment it urgently needs to combat COVID-19, including basic antiseptics, intensive care beds, and ventilators.
PHRI’s further urged COGAT and the MoH to find alternatives for patients in Gaza who need critical surgery or treatment that is currently unavailable in the Strip and who, as a result of restrictions placed to limit the spread of COVID-19, are unable to leave to access this treatment elsewhere.
There are around 2,700 Gazans in quarantine, including 1,271 in 20 isolation units which were converted from schools, hotels and hospitals. As of today, 99 people have been tested and 2 have been tested as positive.
Yet even prior to the arrival of COVID-19, the Gazan healthcare system has been unable to meet the needs of the local population. The fragmentation between Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem has been coupled with continuous obstacles that Israel imposes on freedom of movement of patients, medical equipment, medications, and healthcare personnel. As a result, many treatments are unavailable while local healthcare staff lacks up-to-date medical knowledge.
Meanwhile, the equipment required by coronavirus patients are drastically lacking, with only roughly 70 Intensive care beds, while healthcare staff is missing masks and protective suits. Although a field hospital is being established, with 40-50 beds, it will only be able to intake up to 100 patients.
This is compounded by poor public health conditions: a water and electricity crisis, high poverty rates and high population density, which foretell inabilities to both maintain sanitary conditions and practice isolation. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already issued a call for donor assistance to secure basic needs and PHRI is working alongside the WHO and the Gazan MoH to try and meet these needs.
Aside from the challenges facing Gaza in a potential outbreak are the needs of current patients. Gaza’s healthcare needs are so great that, in 2018, according to the World Health Organization, over 9,000 patients had to leave the Strip for treatment, as local hospitals were not able to provide them with appropriate treatment.
Roughly one-quarter of these patients were cancer patients. These patients are now unable to exit Gaza following restrictions placed by Israel, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Te Israeli occupation government, as an effective military occupier in Gaza, must ensure that it takes “prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics”. Moreover, it must ensure that, should medical equipment and supplies be lacking, that the population receives the needed treatments.
PHRI requests that the international community call on the Israeli MoH and the Ministry of Defense to:
Ensure that the Gaza MoH receives the basic equipment it needs to combat the spread of the disease Dialogue with the MoH in Gaza for patients in Gaza who require non-elective surgery and treatments that are unavailable in Gaza.
World Health Organization Officials Visit the Besieged Gaza Strip
A delegation from the World Health Organization (WHO) arrived in the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, after announcing that two people were infected with Corona virus (COVID-19).
The Hebrew newspaper “Yediot Aharonot” reported that a group of representatives from the WHO arrived in the Gaza Strip, through the Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing.
The newspaper noted that the World Health Organization delivered hundreds of Coronavirus kits to Gaza, a short time ago, with additional supplies, expected to be delivered in the near future.
According to Anadolu News Agency, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Jamie McGoldrick, has warned of frightening consequences if the COVID-19 virus were to spread in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
In an interview, McGoldrick told UN News that a COVID-19 outbreak in the Gaza Strip could be disastrous, due to the 14 year long Israeli blockade of the Strip, an already insufficient health-care system, and over-crowding, with nearly 2,000,000 Palestinians living within a 365 square kilometer area.
The UN official said they are working to raise $7 million to meet Gaza’s urgent humanitarian needs, and have been in contact with the Palestinian administration as well as the World Health Organization, to work together to improve the state of health care in the Gaza Strip.
Arab League Demands Israel Release Palestinian Political Prisoners
The League of Arab States, consisting of 22 Arab countries, addressed international human rights organizations and other relevant bodies, on Monday, what they describe as an imperative release of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners, from the Israeli occupation government prisons.
A press release, issued by the Deputy-Secretary General of the Arab States’ League for the Israel-occupied Arab and Palestinian Territories’ Affairs, Said Abu Ali, was in response to a worldwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
The statement read that all relevant international conventions and the international law consider providing protection for prisoners as imperative, especially in times of pandemics, such as the current global situation.
Mr. Abu Ali called on key international countries to pressure Israeli authorities for the release of 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, including hundreds of elderly with poor immunity, 180 juveniles and 43 women, to prevent the prison population from contracting and spreading the contagious disease.
Abu Ali also called for ensuring protection and proper safety measures for the thousands of Palestinian prisoners, inside Israeli jails.
The Arab-Palestinian official’s appeal comes in the backdrop of media reports that Coronavirus cases inside Israel has so far reached several hundreds, with some Israeli health officials warning that the number could increase to thousands, unless more necessary measures are taken.
Earlier on Monday, the Israeli occupation government so-called prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reportedly imposed a total lockdown all across Israel, citing growing concerns that the virus could widely spread in the upcoming weeks.
Palestinian media reports confirmed that four Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli Megedo prison, one of the largest Israeli occupation government detention facilities for Palestinian political prisoners, have tested positive for COVID-19. The Palestinian Government has also increased precautions in the occupied West Bank.
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