Covid-19 in Gaza – Israelis of Conscience Say No
As Covid-19 sweeps across the planet, few scenarios are as frightening as an outbreak of the virus in Israeli-occupied Gaza.
Home to almost two million Palestinians driven from their homes in 1948 and 1967, under comprehensive Israeli land, air and maritime siege for the past thirteen years, its health infrastructure decimated by periodic rounds of hi-tech military assault, thousands of its youth maimed by Israeli snipers firing from across its militarized perimeter, the Gaza “ghetto”/”open air prison” is ripe for a horrifying public health crisis.
As of April 9, the WHO reports a total of seventeen Covid-19 cases in Gaza, of whom five have recovered. No deaths have been reported.
As Passover begins — a time for Jewish people to commemorate their deliverance from oppression — four Israelis are refusing to let Covid-19 strike Gaza. They’ve launched a solidarity campaign to help Gazans fend it off.
They’re also calling for an end to Israel’s siege.
As of this date, the #Epidemic in Gaza campaign has raised 40,000 shekels (almost 16,000 Canadian dollars) to buy hand sanitizer for Gaza, with NIS 50,000 as their target. Physicians for Human Rights Israel will take charge of getting the sanitizer into the enclave.
I spoke with Hadas Pe’ery, one of the four Israelis who’ve launched the campaign. Listen to our conversation here: