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Academic Newsletter N° 57 (April 2020)

Up-to-the-minute updates on Adalah's legal work defending human rights as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic.
With the start of the battle against the spread of coronavirus, Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel moved to emergency footing to monitor for potential human rights violations and to take legal action when necessary in order to defend the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the oPt during this crisis.


Actions -- Academia -- Analyses -- COVID-19 -- Gaza -- International -- Israel -- Jerusalem/Al-Quds -- Palestine -- Prisoners -- Refugees -- Resources -- Videos

Actions & Calls : 

Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCIP)


We, the undersigned, demand Israeli authorities take immediate action to release all Palestinian child detainees in Israeli prisons due to the rapid global spread of the COVID-19 virus and to safeguard their right to life, survival, development, and health in accordance with international law.
[April 14: 7,497 people already signed]

Solidarité avec l'hôpital Al-Awda de Gaza!

L'épidémie de COVID-19 dans la bande de Gaza annonce une situation dramatique. Faites un don! (Charleroi pour la Palestine).

Sous blocus israélo-égyptien depuis 2007, l'enclave palestinienne de 2 millions d'habitant·e·s fait face à un manque chronique de matériels : seulement 56 respirateurs disponibles et 40 lits de soins intensifs. Fondé en 1985, l'Union des Comités des travailleurs de la santé (UHWC - Union of Health Works Committees) est une organisation palestinienne de référence dans le domaine de la santé. Environ 300 000 personnes bénéficient chaque année de ses services dans la bande de Gaza. Situé à Jabalia au Nord de la Bande de Gaza, l'hôpital Al-Awda est administré par l'UHWC et fournit un service médical de qualité à des milliers de palestiniens.
FSVP: Faites un don ici!

Friend, help us slow the spread of the Coronavirus!

While COVID-19 is a threat to us all, without swift action, catastrophe looms for many vulnerable Palestinians. The health services provided for Palestinians are already massively overburdened, with a lack of the most basic medical essentials. We have already provided emergency hygiene supplies to 1,200 vulnerable Palestinians living in Gaza. The threat of this new virus is dangerously increased for Palestinians by their living conditions, particularly in the refugee camps, where there is severe overcrowding, few hygiene facilities and extremely limited opportunity to effectively self-isolate.

A donation from you can help us save lives!

Palestinian Prisoners' Day 2020: Week of Action for Palestinian Liberation (Samidoun, April 10):

Today, there are approximately 5,000 Palestinians jailed by Zionist colonialism, including over 180 children, 430 administrative detainees jailed without charge or trial and 700 sick and ill prisoners, 200 with chronic and serious diseases that place them at even greater risk should COVID-19 spread throughout the prisons. 

The imprisonment of Palestinians is a colonial attack on the Palestinian people. Imprisonment affects nearly every Palestinian family, including Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, occupied Palestine '48 and even in exile and diaspora. Palestinian prisoners are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, students and teachers, labor organizers, women's leaders, student activists, community builders, freedom fighters. 

Human rights groups to Israel: "Halt aerial herbicide spraying in Gaza Strip amid critical coronavirus outbreak!" (6 April 2020)

As Palestinians in Gaza desperately fight to keep coronavirus at bay and prevent its outbreak into the wider population, Israel carried out another round of aerial spraying of herbicides in eastern Gaza on Sunday, 5 April 2020, that may potentially jeopardize food security of the civilian population at a time when its most critical.
'Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement', 'Al Mezan Center for Human Rights', and 'Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel' sent an urgent letter  to Israeli authorities demanding an immediate halt to Israel's aerial herbicide spraying in the eastern Gaza Strip. They call on international community to intervene.

"Deux victoires de la campagne BDS contre AnyVision et G4S" (Collectif Palestine Vaincra, 15 avril):

Après une large mobilisation de la campagne ##DropAnyVision, la firme américaine Microsoft a retiré ses investissements de la firme technologique israélienne AnyVision. Cette entreprise vise à développer la reconnaissance faciale dans le cadre de la surveillance de la population palestinienne de Cisjordanie.
Parallèlement, la campagne BDS de Jordanie vient d'annoncer une importante victoire dans le royaume hachémite. En effet, le Programme de développement des Nations Unies (UNDP) de Jordanie n'a pas renouvelé son contrat avec l'entreprise sécuritaire anglo-danoise G4S,
firme qui a collaboré avec l'administration pénitentiaire israélienne pendant des années.


Stop Israeli Killer Drones!

On 30 th March, Palestine Land Day and the anniversary of the start of the Great March of Return demonstrations in Gaza, a European coalition of NGOs, trade unions and migrant organisations, including ECCP, has launched a petition to the EU to stop Israeli drones from intensifying the EU's border militarisation.

Sign the petition here! (EN-FR-NL, already 6.784 signatures).

Academia :

Weeam Hammoudeh et al., "Food Insecurity in the oPt: Reflections in Light of the COVID-19 Lockdown" (BirZeit Univ., April 2):

Food insecurity continues to have far reaching impacts on the lives, health and wellbeing of people throughout the world, particularly in countries experiencing conflict and/or high levels of poverty. Conflict has been shown to be a key driver of severe food crises. As part of our project "Re-conceptualising Health in Wars and Conflicts: A New Focus on Deprivation and Suffering in the oPt," we investigated the impact of occupation on food deprivation. Our analyses suggest that living conditions under occupation increase the incidence of food insecurity and are detrimental to dietary diversity. This study is particularly relevant in light of the current COVID-19 related lockdowns which further exacerbate an already dire situation.


"Statement about the Israeli occupation's arrest of Birzeit University students, faculty members" (RIGHT2EDU, Jan 23):

Since the beginning of the academic year 2019-2020, the number of Birzeit University student arrests has increased rapidly. Israeli occupying forces have detained around 74 students, six of them in 2020. Furthermore, Media professor Widad Barghouti was arrested on September 1, 2019; he has been released but remains under house arrest. 


"More than 80 detained students are exposed to an imminent danger as a result of the spread of Coronavirus inside Israeli prisons" (RIGHT2EDU, April 6):

At a time when the entire world is suffering as a result of the outbreak of the pandemic, and governments are issuing regulations to save their people, the Israeli occupying forces continue their crimes against Palestinian prisoners, and our students, in particular. This situation is particularly alarming amid the ongoing spread of the virus. The prisoners live in very poor conditions, and are deprived of their basic rights, especially after the recent decisions taken by the prison administration to confiscate the basic materials for sterilization from what is known as the "Kantina". Many Israeli officers are diagnosed positive with the virus and are in direct contact with the prisoners, especially in Ofer Prison where many university students are located. The campaign of arrests of Birzeit University has not stopped despite the spread of the virus. Worldwide, nations are tirelessly combating the spread of the disease, the Israeli occupation is exploiting the current crisis to distress our students and leave them in contaminated and infested conditions.


"Freedom for all Palestinian students! Youth on the front lines of struggle" (Samidoun, April 12):

Palestinian students are not only learning and expanding their knowledge as the next generation of Palestinians struggling for liberation - they are on the front lines of struggle against colonial imprisonment. There are approximately 250 Palestinian students held in Israeli jails, including approximately 80 from Bir Zeit University alone. Over the years, thousands of Palestinian university students have been targeted for arrest and persecution. Palestinian universities have been frequently raided by Israeli occupation forces; student organizations' offices have been ransacked, their belongings confiscated and destroyed.


Thomas Hofland, "Tareq Matar, imprisoned youth leader and friend: A personal testimony" (Samidoun, April 12):

For the last six months I have been thinking a lot about my friend Tareq Matar, who was arrested by Israeli occupation forces in November 2019 and subjected to severe torture. When he entered the Israeli military court for the first time, he was pushed in in a wheelchair... Tareq is not the only Palestinian student imprisoned by the occupation. Currently, more than 80 students of Birzeit University are held behind bars, among them Mays Abu Ghosh. And most of them are being tortured. When Tareq was arrested, he was preparing to pursue his academic career with a Ph.D program at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. He is being detained under administrative detention, without charge or trial and based on secret evidence.


Analyses & Comments :

Yara Hawari, "In Palestine, COVID-19 Meets the Israeli Occupation" (Al-Shabaka, April 14):

The West Bank and Gaza Strip are confronting COVID-19 from a reality of Israeli military occupation. Al-Shabaka Senior Palestine Policy Fellow Yara Hawari analyzes the severe challenges this presents to Palestinians, Israel's political manipulation of the virus, and the international community's normalizing response - and how it should change.


Ahmad Al-Bazz, "What the media got wrong about the Gaza 'normalization' saga" (+972 Magazine, April 14):

A controversy involving a Gaza journalist highlights the Palestinian debate around normalization - but mainstream outlets are failing to take it seriously. Hamas security forces detained a group of young Palestinians in Gaza last week after a Palestinian journalist alerted authorities that the youth had held an online video conference with Israelis.


Judith Deutsch, "Guilt and Impunity: Gaza and COVID-19" (, April 14):

Plague has entered the Holy Land. During the week of Easter and Passover there is an uncanny conjuncture of dire threat and insouciance. The week's festive religious sentiments could not be more distant from the reality. The sentiments of Easter and Passover smooth away guilt and responsibility. Jesus, we are reminded each year, died to expiate our sins, and many among the self-proclaimed progeny of the Exodus see themselves as exceptions, entitled to perpetrate radical destructiveness because of having been victims...


Mouin Rabbani, "After the Trump "Peace Plan": Ending the Occupation is the Priority" (Jadaliyya, April 13):

It is incontestable that a unitary state encompassing all of historic Palestine in which Palestinians and Israelis live in full equality represents the preferred resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Assuming this entity guarantees both individual and communal parity, and satisfactorily resolves the refugee question, it would achieve the fundamental Palestinian right to national self-determination and be consistent with the broader Palestinian aspiration of greater Arab integration.

[Read Diana Buttu's response to this article in favor of the one-state solution]


Diana Buttu, "After the Trump "Peace Plan": One-State Solution is the Only Way Forward" (Jadaliyya, April 13):

Last month, a Palestinian think tank, the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, revealed its survey results following the release of the Trump/Netanyahu plan. In announcing the results, Dr Khalil Shikaki, the head of the polling centre, noted that 94% of Palestinian respondents opposed the plan: "I don't think we've ever seen such a level of consensus among the Palestinian public," he said.

[Read Mouin Rabbani's response contesting the viability of the one-state solution]


Randa Farah, "It's Time to Reclaim UNRWA" (Al-Shabaka, April 7):

With COVID-19 spreading in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and neighboring refugee camps, the consequences of the US's defunding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees are even more dire. Al-Shabaka's Randa Farah examines these challenges and outlines ways Palestinians can reclaim UNRWA and ultimately use it as a vehicle of empowerment and self-determination.


COVID-19 in the oPt:

Coronavirus in de Palestijnse gebieden (The Rights Forum, 13 april):

In totaal zijn er nu 308 besmettingen met het coronavirus in de bezette Palestijnse gebieden vastgesteld. Daarvan zijn er 36 in Oost-Jeruzalem, 259 op de Westelijke Jordaanoever en 13 in Gaza. Er zijn twee Palestijnen overleden aan de gevolgen van COVID-19.

"COVID-19 pandemic: Vulnerable population groups in the oPt and the legal duty to apply 'all necessary preventative means available.'" Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, Blog, March 31:

While many parts of the world transition to mandatory lockdown, Palestinians in the oPt face uncertainty about how they will be protected from the spread of COVID-19. This blog will focus on the circumstances of three particularly vulnerable population groups: i) the population of Gaza, ii) child and adult detainees in Israeli prisons, and iii) families and individuals displaced by home demolitions. On 19 March 2020, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement on Israel's legal duty, as the occupying power, to ensure that Palestinians are protected as far as possible from the spread of COVID-19.

Osama Tanous, "En Palestine, les effets inégaux d'une épidémie dans une colonie de peuplement" (Agence Media Palestine, 25 mars):

Nous sommes loin de pouvoir saisir toute l'ampleur des dommages potentiels que l'épidémie de COVID-19 pourrait causer dans la vie des gens et à l'économie. Dans la réalité complexe de la Palestine/Israël, où l'épidémie ne fait que commencer, elle nécessite une analyse plus approfondie. Nous savons par l'histoire que les pauvres et les opprimés sont les plus touchés par les épidémies et les catastrophes, et le danger de ce virus pour les Palestiniens est donc très préoccupant.


"Israeli Apartheid Undermines Palestinian Right to Health Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic" (Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, April 8):

This year we mark World Health Day as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to sweep across the globe, disproportionately impacting those subjected to situations of institutionalised oppression, discrimination, and injustice. For the Palestinian people, COVID-19 has brought to the forefront Israel's apartheid regime of systematic racial domination and oppression over all Palestinians, which for decades has led to the fragmentation and de-development of the healthcare system of the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, and denied Palestinians the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.


Ali Abunimah, "Israël s'en prend aux Palestiniens pendant qu'ils luttent contre le Covid-19" (via Charleroi pour la Palestine, 31 Mars):

Les forces israéliennes d'occupation continuent à s'en prendre aux communautés palestiniennes alors qu'elles luttent pour endiguer la menace de pandémie du coronavirus. La vidéo qui suit montre les forces d'occupation portant des combinaisons « hazmat » (= hazardous materials ou produits dangereux, NdT) et des fusils d'assaut au moment où elles font irruption dans une maison près de Ramallah, mardi matin.


"Gaza runs out of coronavirus tests, Palestinian health officials say" (MEMo, April 8):

Gaza has reported 13 cases of coronavirus infection, all of whom are at quarantine facilities. - The Gaza Strip has no more coronavirus test kits, Palestinian health officials said on Wednesday, amid fears of disaster if the illness spreads in the blockaded, densely packed enclave, Reuters reports. "Testing at our central laboratory has stopped, after coronavirus test kits completely ran out," Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.


Gaza Strip:

"In the face of potential COVID-19 outbreak in the Gaza Strip, Israel is obliged to take measures to save lives, permitting the entry of medical equipment and supplies, to meet patients' needs" (Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, April 7):

With over 250 identified COVID-19 Palestinian patients in the West Bank and potentially dozens in the Gaza Strip we, the undersigned organizations, express grave concern in the face of a potential human catastrophe. The Palestinian healthcare system, with a dire lack of equipment, medicines, and training, will be unable to deal with this outbreak.


David Mills, Bram Wispelwey, Rania Muhareb, Mads Gilbert, "Structural violence in the era of a new pandemic: the case of the Gaza Strip" (The Lancet, Correspondence, March 26, pdf):

As the world is consumed by the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it should be of no surprise that epidemics (and indeed, pandemics) are disproportionately violent to populations burdened by poverty, military occupation, discrimination, and institutionalised oppression. Structural violence rooted in historical, political, and social injustices determines health patterns and creates vulnerabilities that hamper the effective prevention, detection, and response to communicable disease outbreaks. In the occupied Gaza Strip, the convergence of these forces in the era of a pandemic have the potential to devastate one of the world's most vulnerable populations. The colonial fragmentation of the Palestinian people and their health systems, combined with a neoliberal development framework implemented during the past decades, has created a profound dependency on aid, placing health care at the mercy of increasingly restrictive international donor politics.


Jonathan Cook, "If coronavirus overwhelms Gaza, Israel alone will be to blame" (April 13):

What is already a crisis in the territory barely needs a nudge from Covid-19 in order to be tipped into a health disaster. - The Palestinians of Gaza know all about lockdowns. For the past 13 years, some two million of them have endured a closure by Israel more extreme than anything experienced by almost any other society - including even now, as the world hunkers down to try to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. Israel has been carrying out an unprecedented experiment in Gaza, using the latest military hardware and surveillance technology to blockade this tiny coastal enclave by land, air and sea.


Entsar Abu Jahal, "No sanitizers, fresh food or distance in some of Gaza's quarantine centers" (Al-Monitor, April 9):

Life in the Gaza Strip's quarantine centers which are mostly converted from schools and hotels, lack the basic necessities such as fresh food and sanitation that are necessary to survive the coronavirus pandemic. Life in the quarantine centers is tense, confrontational and lacking in basic needs.


Hiba M. Yazbek, "The coronavirus finally gave the world a chance to feel what we Gazans have always felt" (Haaretz, April 9):

Leaving the Gaza Strip was the only thing Randa could think of for an entire year after finishing university. Months of unsuccessful job hunting depressed the 23-year-old English literature graduate, whose bachelor's degree had been achieved at the expense of her family's savings.


PCHR: "In New Israeli Violation, Israeli Naval Forces Wound 2 Fishermen in Northern Gaza Sea" (IMEMC, April 9):

According to the investigations of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) Israeli naval forces continue their attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea preventing them from sailing and fishing freely, accessing the zones rich in fish, despite the fact that fishermen posed no threat to the lives of Israeli naval forces deployed in Gaza waters.


International :

Ali Abunimah, "Will EU and pandemic pave way for Israeli global surveillance?" (The Electronic Intifada, 13 April):

The coronavirus pandemic is a priceless opportunity for governments and spy firms to expand their reach into people's lives. Public health authorities say effective contact tracing will be crucial to ending broad lockdowns and quickly halting new outbreaks of the virus, at least until a vaccine is developed. One firm looking to capitalize on this opportunity is Israel's notorious NSO Group... Israel's vaunted tech industry has deep ties to the country's military and intelligence apparatus, which uses Palestinians under military occupation as unwilling guinea pigs for systems that are then marketed to other countries.

[Picture: Israeli defense minister Naftali Bennett, left, with EU ambassador Emanuele Giaufret in 2017. Bennett is now hoping other countries will buy a coronavirus tracking system made by an Israeli spy firm implicated in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.]


Ian Wellens, "An open letter to UK Labour leader Keir Starmer" (Mondoweiss, April 10):

Ian Wellens asks Labour's new leader, who has said, "I support Zionism without qualification," if there is a place for opposition to a discriminatory state in the Labour Party. "My politics is rooted in values, and chief among these are an opposition to all forms of racism and discrimination, and an insistence on equal rights which I am not prepared to compromise... However, my party now has a leader who has pledged his unqualified support to a country and a system which is utterly at odds with those same values..."



WHO: "Israel's Obligation vis-a-vis West Bank and Gaza in Face of Coronavirus Pandemic: Global Human Rights Organizations" (via Informed Comment, April 9):

With over 250 identified COVID-19 Palestinian patients in the West Bank and potentially dozens in the Gaza Strip we, the undersigned organizations, express grave concern in the face of a potential human catastrophe... In the face of potential COVID-19 outbreak in the Gaza Strip, Israel is obliged to take measures to save lives, permitting the entry of medical equipment and supplies, to meet patients' needs.


Lee Yaron, "Arab Israelis fight coronavirus as first-class doctors but second-class citizens" (Haaretz, March 17):

They account for 17% of the country's doctors and save Jewish lives 24/7. But when it comes to representation in government, even in the times of the coronavirus, Netanyahu thinks they are a danger. "It's sad to hear the prime minister refer to me as a ticking threat, when in fact we are the ones who are neutralizing the danger and saving patients," says Yassin. "In the hospitals the work of Jewish-Arab teams together is an example of exemplary coexistence; we all work together, shoulder to shoulder, without any distinctions."


Diana Buttu, "Pandemic lays bare Israel's systemic racism" (The Electronic Intifada, April 8):

As I sit in my house in Haifa, quarantined, like others around the world, I cannot help but recall a previous experience under Israeli-imposed curfew. 18 years ago, during March and April of 2002, the Israeli army re-invaded the West Bank, including the city in which I was residing at the time, Ramallah... While the initial action was met with international condemnation, soon the lockdown - and the terror of Israel's army - became "normal." Few raised their voices at Israel's collective punishment of Palestinians and all of the accompanying land confiscations and home demolitions undertaken by the army. Today is no different.


Nir Hasson, "Amid coronavirus crisis, Israel tells Palestinians to download app that tracks phones" (Haaretz, April 8):

Palestinians seeking to verify whether their permits to remain in Israel are still valid have been instructed by Israel to download an app that enables the military access to their cellphones. The app would allow the army to track the Palestinians ' cellphone location, as well as access notifications they receive, files they download and save and the device's camera.


Naim Mousa & Amir Toumié, "The Joint List stripped illusions about Gantz and showed it is Israel's only progressive party" (Mondoweiss, April 9):

Following a contentious third election, Israel seemed to have yet another political deadlock. However, no one could have foreseen the developments which have occurred over the past couple of weeks. Benny Gantz, blindsiding his own political allies, abandoned his claim to change the right-wing government and instead decided to join them in their coalition.


Lana Tatour, "'Zionism's last hope': The Joint List cannot reform Israeli colonialism" (Middle East Eye, March 10):

It is time to forgo the illusion of inclusion and to mobilise around a radical project of decolonisation. - The increase in the electoral power of Palestinians in Israel ought not to be mistaken as an increase in their political power. Whether they have 13 or 15 seats, the Joint List's power will always be limited in the Jewish-only landscape. The obstacle to gaining power or influencing policy is not seat count or political savvy; the obstacle is structural, rooted in the foundations of the Israeli state itself. Israel is a racist, settler-colonial state, and its architecture and legal infrastructure are premised on maintaining a racial distinction and hierarchy between Jews and Palestinians.


Jerusalem - Al-Quds :

Nir Hasson, "After weeks of warning, coronavirus spreading among Palestinians in East Jerusalem" (Haaretz, April 14):

Medical professionals report an increase in COVID-19 infection among Palestinians in East Jerusalem, estimating that at least 80 patients have been diagnosed. Half the patients are said to be in Silwan, where Dr. Samar Awar, who volunteers in the neighborhood, says 14 patients are members of the same family. Outbreak could be severe due to overcrowding and a high incidence of underlying illnesses, health professionals warn.


Nir Hasson, "Israel shuts Palestinian coronavirus testing clinic in East Jerusalem" (Haaretz, April 15, picture by Ohad Zwigenberg):

Clinic in Silwan raided, activists arrested because kits were provided by the Palestinian Authority. - Israeli police raided a coronavirus testing clinic and arrested its organizers on Tuesday night because the clinic was operated in collaboration with the Palestinian Authority. According to the clinic's managers, there is a shortage of coronavirus tests in Silwan, where doctors say there are 40 confirmed cases and where overcrowded living conditions could lead to a rapid spread of the virus


"Israel said to shut down East Jerusalem virus testing site operating under PA" (Times of Israel, April 26):

Israel Police closed down a makeshift coronavirus testing clinic in East Jerusalem because it was operating under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority. Knesset member Ofer Cassif of the predominantly Arab Joint List party condemned the development, saying it was to everyone's benefit that virus tests be carried out. "The police raid on the coronavirus testing center in Silwan is inhumane and even stupid," he told the paper. "Preventing the virus spread is a joint interest and if Israel doesn't do the checks it must at least enable testing by others." Also Wednesday, a spokesman for the UNRWA accused Israel of preventing efforts by the agency to stop the spread of the virus among Palestinians in E-Jerusalem.


Yuval Abraham, "Abandoned by Israel, Jerusalem's refugee camp is left to fight COVID-19 alone" (+972 Magazine, April 12):

With no tests, medical supplies, or isolation zones, the residents of Shuafat Refugee Camp are mobilizing to ensure they stay safe in the case of an outbreak. During these days of the coronavirus pandemic, the vast majority of the residents of this land are worried about their health and their economic and psychological state. Those worries are just as relevant for the residents of Shuafat Refugee Camp, situated within the municipal bounds of Jerusalem, yet located on the other side of the separation wall.


"2 infants among suffocation cases in Israeli night attack on Silwan" (Quds News Network, April 13):

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Several Palestinians, including 2 infants, were suffocated during an Israeli attack on Silwan in occupied Jerusalem on the dawn of Monday. QNN reporter said that Israeli forces stormed the town and attacked the locals with intensive stun and tear gas grenades.


Palestine Colonized:

Eman Abusidu, "Palestinian Youth under Israeli Occupation were already Isolated - Now Social Media is their only Connection to the World" (MEMo via Informed Comment, April 14):

Social media plays a vital role in transforming people's lives. Being on social networks and blogs allows everyone to connect with others easily. This is especially so for the people of occupied Palestine, particularly those in the Gaza Strip. According to a 2019 report published by the StatCounter web traffic analysis site, "Approximately 65% of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip use Facebook, while more than one million use WhatsApp and more than 300,000 use each of Twitter and Instagram."


Michal Hai, "Coronavirus? Police, army and settlers continue with harassing Palestinians" (Occupation Magazine, March 29-April 4, 2020):

Israeli Police, Border Police and army persisted in their systemic harassment of the Issawiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem this week, in the midst of the worsening Corona-virus crisis: placing checkpoints, firing sponge rounds and teargas, arresting locals and fining them. Hooligans from Havat Maon outpost were busy this week stealing from their Palestinian neighbors; Israeli soldiers violently arrested a Palestinian youth picking Ka'ub (globe thistle) near Palestinian Susya, even though it is no longer prohibited; settlers from the West Bank hill-range outposts are widening a path they have cleared around Rashash, inside a nature reserve and firing zones, as well as founding a new outpost - Israeli police and army called to the site responded by chasing away Palestinian shepherds, and fining activists and NGO workers who are permitted (by one of the Israeli Ministry of Health regulations) on the ground in order to document illegal works.


"Arab League: Israel exploited coronavirus to escalate aggression on Palestinians" (Middle East Monitor, April 10):

Israeli occupation authorities are exploiting the world's preoccupation with confronting the novel coronavirus to escalate its ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people, the Arab League (AL) warned yesterday. The AL said in a statement that the Israeli violations included "killing, arresting and displacing civilians, annexing new settlements, and Judaising and attacking Palestinian holy sites."


Prisoners : 

"Prisoners Committee Concerned Over Palestinian Prisoner's Condition" (IMEMC, April 11):

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Committee for Prisoners and Ex-prisoners Affairs, on Saturday, expressed its deep concern over the condition of a Palestinian prisoner, inside Israel's Ramon prison. In a statement, released by the committee, the condition of prisoner, Mohammed Halabi, 42, from the Gaza Strip refugee camp of Jabalia, is getting worse, as he has been reportedly suffering from severe headaches, after having been subjected to violent interrogation by the Israeli intelligence.


Prisonniers palestiniens: " Sauvez-nous du coronavirus Covid 19 avant que nos cellules ne se transforment en tombeaux ! " (Investig'Action, 31 mars):

Message des prisonniers palestiniens malades, détenus dans les geôles de l'occupant sioniste, adressé aux associations des Droits de l'Homme et à tous les Hommes libres de par le monde: "Le sentiment du danger qui menace nos vies augmente, jour après jour, heure après heure, dans les prisons de l'entité sioniste du fait de la propagation du coronavirus et de l'évolution de cette pandémie mondiale qui menace le monde entier."


"Brazilian organizations call for release of Palestinian prisoners" (Samidoun, April 11):

Organizations in Brazil joined the call to the International Committee of the Red Cross to take action and intervene to protect Palestinian prisoners from the severe threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic should it spread inside Israeli jails. They made an urgent appeal upon the ICRC to pressure Israel to immediately release the Palestinian and Arab prisoners inside Israeli jails. The letter (pdf) emphasized that the Palestinian prisoners' movement has issued multiple declarations and calls to free the detainees, especially the sick prisoners, elderly and child prisoners; there are currently over 180 children imprisoned in Israeli jails. Like other Palestinian prisoners, they are denied sanitary conditions, family visits or access to their lawyers. While Israel has claimed its restrictions protect prisoners from COVID-19, multiple jailers infected with the virus have been allowed to enter the prisoners and raids and arrests continue, putting the prisoners' lives and health at extreme risk.


Oren Ziv, "Palestinian prisoners left in the dark by Israel's coronavirus restrictions" (+972, March 22):

With family and lawyer visits canceled due to coronavirus, Palestinians in Israeli prisons, including minors, are now completely cut off from the world. New emergency regulations issued by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to combat the novel coronavirus prohibit Palestinian political prisoners from meeting their lawyers or receiving family visitations... Those hit hardest by the new regulations are the 180 Palestinian minors who are locked up in Israel, explains Moria Shlomot, an attorney and member of the Parents Against Child Detention movement. "Even on normal days, their rights are extremely restricted. Some are as young as 12 years old, and are already in a situation of uncertainty, which has only intensified now."


Refugees :

Ramona Wadi, "There will be no sustainability for the Palestinians without their legitimate right of return" (MEMo, March 3):

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) remains in perpetual financial crisis. Spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna has warned that apart from a possible cessation of services by May, there are no funds for emergency programmes in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.


"Les réfugié·e·s palestinien·ne·s au Liban se mobilisent contre le Coronavirus" (Palestine Vaincra, 13 avril):

Entretien avec l'Organisation de la Jeunesse Palestinienne qui se mobilise dans les camps de réfugié·e·s palestinien·ne·s au Liban pour organiser la solidarité et l'entraide face à l'épidémie de coronavirus. [Ce diaporama nécessite JavaScript.]


@ COVID-19 response: UNRWA Flash Appeal for immediate needs (March - May 2020), pdf, 9p.


1. Epidemiological Situation (WHO data: as of 12 April): number of cases including Palestine refugees (PRs): [* not officially declared]

+ Lebanon: 630, (PRs: 1)*, 80 recovered, 20 deaths (local trans)*
+ West Bank: 258, (PRs: 34)*, 49 recovered, 2 death (PR) (local trans)*
+ Jordan: 389, (PRs: 3)*, 201 recovered, 7 deaths (local trans)*
+ Gaza: 13, (PRs: 9)*, 9 recovered, 0 deaths (local trans)*
+ Syria: 25, (PRs: 0)*, 5 recovered, 2 deaths (imported only)*.

2. UNRWA Fields of operations summary updates:


Resources - Reports - Books :

@ BRICUP Newsletter 134, March-April 2020: -

Contents (11p.): a.o.
p. 3: "Tracking COVID-19 responsibly Rania Muhareb and Rita Giacaman ," The Lancet;
p. 4: "IHRA Definition Opposition to IHRA definition at the University of Warwick," by Nicola Pratt, UWarwick;
p. 5: "A tale of three cities: saying 'no' to the IHRA definition in Canada," Robert Boyce, BRICUP Secretary;
p. 7: "
Ariel: an Illegal University", by Richard Seaford.

[BRICUP is an organisation of UK based academics, set up in response to the Palestinian Call for Academic Boycott. Its twin missions are: to support Palestinian universities, staff and students, and to oppose the continued illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.]

© Paul Lookman, "Het zionistische project Israël. Etnisch zuiver, of binationaal gidsland?" ISBN 978-94-6406-017-1, 300 blz., 168 voetnoten, 17 x 24 cm, NUR 740, 747, 906, 716. Te koop via boekhandel of voor Nederlandse kopers: ; voor Vlaamse kopers: 30 euro storten op BE91 9733 8390 1176 t.n.v. Paul Lookman, Beringen, en adresgegevens mailen naar

Presentatie: "Joden en Palestijnen worden bondgenoten" (Geopolitiek in context, 30 maart 2020). Wat bezielt de Joden om van Israël een etnisch zuiver land te maken? Wie zijn de vijf miljoen Palestijnen achter de afscheidingsmuur, of opgesloten in Gaza? Hoe voelt het om misschien toch het land te moeten delen?


© Susie Linfield, "The Lions' Den. Zionism and the Left from Hannah Arendt to Noam Chomsky," Yale UP, May 19, 2019, 400p., 9780300251845, pb, $20.00. In this intellectual history of the political Left, cultural critic Susie Linfield investigates how 8 prominent 20th-century intellectuals struggled with the philosophy of Zionism, and then with Israel and its conflicts with the Arab world.

See Benjamin Tua,"Reclaiming Judaism from the Lion's Den: Zionism, Israel, and the Palestinians" (Informed Comment, March 21).

© "Palestinians of Syria: The Story of Unending Suffering" - Annual Field Report on the Situation of the Palestinians in Syria, 2018. Publ. by MEMO Publishers & Palestine Return Centre, Nov 2019, pb, 230 p., ISBN978-1-907433-40-5, £5.00.

As the atrocities of war continued with an unabated pace throughout 2018, hundreds of Palestinian families living in Syria fell prey to a new tide of forced deportation and displacement, both inside and outside of the embattled Syrian territories. Dozens of families were torn apart; others learned that their relatives were tortured to death in...


BACBI Culture: Newsletter N°51 (March 2020)          


Liberté pour Khalida Jarrar et tous les prisonniers palestiniens !

" Sauvez-nous! " Appel des prisonniers palestiniens face au virus - Michel Midi Spécial Virus (n°10)

Palestinian students targeted for imprisonment

Belgian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

Committee: Prof. Karel Arnaut (KU Leuven), Prof. ém. Marie-Christine Closon (UCL), Prof. Patrick Deboosere (VUB), Prof. Lieven De Cauter (KULeuven), Em. Prof. Herman De Ley (UGent), Em. Prof. Marc De Meyere (UGent), Prof. Serge Deruette (UMons), Lieve Franssen (dir. Brussels Brecht-Eislerkoor), Carl Gydé (director CAMPO), Prof. Perrine Humblet (ULB), Prof. Marc Jacquemain (ULiège), Em. Prof. Madeline Lutjeharms (VUB), Raven Ruëll (metteur en scène), Prof. ém. Christiane Schomblond (ULB), Dr. Nozomi Takahashi (UGent), Prof. Karin Verelst (VUB).


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