Posted by Stephen Lendman Posted on 31 March 2020

Netanyahu Regime Shuts Down COVID-19 Medical Clinic in Occupied Palestine

Growing numbers of Palestinians are contracting COVID-19. About a dozen Gazans were diagnosed with the illness.

The PA imposed free movement restrictions, especially for Palestinians working in Israel.

Around 100 Palestinians are infected so far, the total sure to increase — to what extent unknown.

At least 17 infected Palestinians recovered and are back home. A week ago, the PA ordered a West Bank lockdown. Individuals who’ve been around others diagnosed with COVID-19 are quarantined for 14 days.

Prisons are potential breeding grounds for the virus. According to the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Assn., at least four imprisoned Palestinians contracted Covid-19 so far. Being around others in overcrowded conditions virtually assures more infections.

Israel is notorious for denying Palestinians medical treatment, even for serious illnesses — the vast majority incarcerated for political reasons, women and young children treated as brutally as men.

In 2019, at least five Palestinian prisoners died from medical neglect. Hundreds suffering from chronic illnesses and diseases aren’t treated.

Conditions are dismal, including overcrowding, poor sanitation and nutrition, and overall appalling conditions that make prisons breeding grounds for contagious diseases.

Last week, the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) sent letters to the ICRC and diplomatic community in Occupied Palestine, requesting urgent intervention to protect the health and safety of Palestinian prisoners, given the threat of possible widespread COVID-19 outbreaks.

Similar efforts earlier achieved nothing. Israeli regimes are indifferent to the health, welfare and lives of Palestinians in or out of prison.

The first reported Palestinian COVID-19 case was on March 5, one death so far. The PA asked the Netanyahu regime to release around $11 million withheld for dubious reasons.

The money and much more is badly needed to deal with growing numbers of COVID-19 outbreaks and other public health issues.

WHO Gaza director Abdul Soboh warned that lack of resources risks outbreaks in the Strip that could grow to an epidemic level.

After Palestinian worker Ibrahim Abu Safiyam experienced shortness of breath, his Israeli employer had him expelled from the country through a checkpoint, left on the ground feverish with no medical help.

He eventually tested negative for COVID-19. Last Thursday, B’Tselem reported that “Israel confiscated (Palestinian) tents designed for a” northern West Bank clinic.

Escorted by soldiers, Israeli civil administration officials showed up in the Palestinian Khirbet Ibzig community with “a bulldozer and two flatbed trucks with cranes…”

“They confiscated poles and sheeting that were meant to form eight tents, two for a field clinic, and four for emergency housing for residents evacuated from their homes, and two as makeshift mosques.” 

“The force also confiscated a tin shack in place for more than two years, as well as a power generator and sacks of sand and cement.” 

“Four pallets of cinder blocks intended for the tent floors were taken away and four others demolished.”

B’Tselem stressed that at a time when cooperative efforts are needed to contain COVID-19 outbreaks and treat infested individuals, the Netanyahu regime is “harassing the most vulnerable Palestinian communities in the West Bank.”

Shutting down a medical clinic to treat the sick and suffering is a crime against humanity.

The Netanyahu regime also keeps demolishing Palestinian homes and other structures Israel wants for exclusive Jewish development and use.

Israeli viciousness against defenseless Palestinians occurs multiple times daily throughout the Occupied Territories.

Instead of enforcing the rule of law and holding Israeli officials accountable for their criminal actions, the world community operates like three monkeys.

Its member states see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil — human misery the price of their indifference to the rights of long-suffering people.

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