News

News on Covid-19 in the Occupied Territories from The Lancet

Palestine and COVID-19–Two powerful new articles from “The Lancet” medical journal:

– March 26 from The Lancet, Structural violence in the era of a new pandemic: The case of Gaza

This is an excellent and extensive study on the health of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank by the world respected medical journal “The Lancet.”

“This is the first of five reports about the health status and health services in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory—the West Bank (including Palestinian Arab East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. We emphasize the complexity of factors that contribute to Palestinian health and health-system problems: ongoing colonization—ie,

    • continued Israeli land confiscation;
    • building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land;
    • fragmentation of communities and land;
    • acute and constant insecurities;
    • routine violations of human rights by Israeli military forces;
    • poor governance and mismanagement in the Palestinian National Authority;
    • and dependence on international aid for resources.

These and other factors have distorted and fragmented the Palestinian health system and adversely affected population health.”

March 26 from The Lancet, Tracking COVID-19 Responsibly

Johns Hopkins University suddenly has removed the Occupied Palestinian Territories from their disease tracking system apparently merging it wth Israel in cooperation with the US Department of State–making it very difficult to track COVID-19.

“The removal of the oPt from their tracking system (CSSE dashboard) goes against global scientific cooperation and solidarity, resulting in discrepancies with official data recorded by the Palestinian and Israeli Health Ministries. Consistency with international law and the need for impartial data on the spread of COVID-19 requires databases to list the oPt separately, as reflected in WHO practice. Instead, removing the oPt and merging it with Israel undermines the credibility of the CSSE dashboard. All the more concerning is the dashboard’s use of US State Department country designations,5 which have legitimised the acquisition of territory by force6 and undermined Palestinian identity and rights in Jerusalem.7

It is regrettable that Johns Hopkins University, an institution with historic ties to the slave trade,8 should continue its colonial violence against the indigenous Palestinian people by removing Palestine from the world map. In the same way that Johns Hopkins University has started acknowledging the indigenous Piscataway people, the traditional owners of the lands upon which the university is built,9 Johns Hopkins University must also recognize symbolic violence10 and ensure that it does not contribute to the erasure of indigenous peoples across the globe.”

Freedom Flotilla 2020: For the Children of Gaza

#GazaKids #FreedomFlotilla #EndGazaBlockade

After joining other civil society organizations in The Hague on Friday November 29 calling on the International Criminal Court to take action and prosecute Israeli crimes against Palestinians, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition met in Rotterdam this weekend to plan our May 2020 sailing towards Gaza with these important goals:

  • To challenge and end the illegal and inhuman Israeli blockade of Gaza

  • To restore the Rights of children and youth in Gaza, for life, security and freedom of movement.

For more than five years the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has been warning the world that Gaza will become uninhabitable by 2020 if the blockade does not end. Basic human rights of Palestinians in Gaza are violated daily by the Israeli-imposed blockade, including the right to adequate housing, the right to education, the right to healthcare, the right to clean water and food, and in particular the right to freedom of movement.

Civil society organizations from around the world have combined to challenge the blockade since 2008, when Free Gaza boats managed to arrive in Gaza and leave again peacefully. In all, more than 35 boats have sailed to challenge the blockade in all. Since 2010 we have sailed as the Freedom Flotilla Coalition: international civil society organizations united for human rights and dedicated to challenging the blockade of Gaza through nonviolent direct action. May 2020 will mark 10 years since the attack by Israeli forces on boats including the Mavi Marmara, where they killed 10 people and seriously wounded 56 others.

“The children of Gaza deserve the same rights as children in every other country of the world,” comments Ann Wright of the US Boat to Gaza. “They are more than a million, more than half of the population of Gaza, and they are being deprived of the right to a just future because of the illegal blockade and ongoing military attacks on occupied Gaza by Israel, with the complicity of our governments.”

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition calls on people of conscience from around the world to support our May 2020 mission for the children of Gaza.

December 1, 2019. Rotterdam.

For further background information, see: jfp.freedomflotilla.org

For media comment, contact our campaign spokespeople:
jfp.freedomflotilla.org/media-room-2
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Freedom Flotilla Coalition members also held protests in front of the International Criminal Court to highlight the case in front of the court about the killing of civilians by the Israeli military in international waters in 2010.  At that time the Israeli military boarded the Mavi Marmara and other ships in the flotilla and commandeered them to Israel.  They also killed and wounded passengers.