Articles, statements and press releases

1 July 2020 |
Photo by the World Health Organization

The total number of people with COVID-19 quadrupled during the reporting period, with the epicenter in the Hebron governorate. Three more people died in the West Bank and 13 are in serious or critical conditions. Revised Inter-Agency Response Plan for COVID-19 crisis is 66 per cent funded.

22 June 2020 |
Naji Tanatra at the ambulance that evacuated him to the hospital.

On 16 April, 40-year-old Issa Qattash and his brother were severely beaten and injured by a group of Israeli settlers, while having a picnic with their families in a forest outside of Jibya village (north of Ramallah). “One of the settlers carried a rifle and another an axe”, Issa explained. “My brother Moussa managed to escape to call for help… I laid some time injured on the ground and then the settlers began dragging me out of the area… but then Israeli soldiers arrived and released me, while letting the settlers go.” Fatima Qattash, Issa’s 70-year-old mother, who witnessed the event added: “we were all shocked and scared… the children are still having nightmares!”

16 June 2020 |
UNRWA Jerusalem Health Centre. © 2020 UNRWA Photo by Louise Wateridge

60 new COVID-19 cases recorded during the reporting period. The number of people in home or facility-based quarantine declines significantly. Revised Inter-Agency Response Plan for COVID-19 crisis is 61 per cent funded.

8 June 2020 |
Dignity kits containing essential hygiene supplies for vulnerable women distributed by UNFPA

As is the case globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the dominant concern in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in recent months. On 5 March 2020, the Palestinian Prime Minister declared a State of Emergency after the first cases were confirmed in Bethlehem city. Measures included the suspension of most commercial and all educational activities, a prohibition on public gatherings, and strict movement restrictions. The emergency was subsequently extended until early June, but has effectively ended since late May, with banks, government ministries, shops, and public transportation networks reopening. In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli-controlled Erez Crossing and Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing have been largely closed since mid-March, with incoming travellers sent to quarantine facilities for 14 days, subsequently extended to 21 days. Overall across the oPt, there has been a remarkably low incidence of cases by global standards, with just five fatalities recorded. As of the beginning of June, 630 Palestinians in total are confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, including 179 in East Jerusalem, 390 in the remainder of the West Bank, and 61 in the Gaza Strip

8 June 2020 |
Road gate controlling access to Deir Nidham, 20 February 2020. Photo by OCHA.

To contain the spread of COVID-19, governments around the world have imposed sweeping restrictions on the freedom of movement of people, severely disrupting their lives. While the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is no exception, with measures being imposed by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities, these have served to exacerbate longstanding access restrictions that are imposed by the Israeli authorities.

3 June 2020 |
Aid delivery to Gaza, 2 June 2020. Photo by WHO

63 new COVID-19 cases; first death recorded in Gaza on 23 May. The State of Emergency declared across the oPt on 5 March has effectively ended. Revised Inter-Agency Response Plan for COVID-19 crisis is 58 per cent funded.