header image
Home arrow Gaza arrow Does Israel Have the Right to Cage Two Million People in a Coronavirus-Ravaged Prison Camp?
Does Israel Have the Right to Cage Two Million People in a Coronavirus-Ravaged Prison Camp? PDF Print E-mail
Apr 15, 2020 at 03:36 PM

For thirteen years, Israel has kept two million Palestinians in Gaza chained inside the world’s largest open-air prison camp. Now the global COVID-19 pandemic is bearing down on the occupied enclave. What will happen if thousands of desperate civilians try to escape?

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the capacities of even the wealthiest countries. For the two million inhabitants of Gaza — most of whom are children under the age of eighteen — an outbreak would spell catastrophe.

The narrow coastal strip is among the most densely populated areas on the planet, making “effective self-isolation” there “nearly impossible.” Thirteen years of Israeli blockade compounded by three large-scale military assaults have driven its infrastructure and health care system to “the brink of collapse.”

There are only eighty-seven ICU beds with ventilators in all of Gaza, many of which are already in use. A significant proportion of essential drugs are at less than a month’s supply and testing capacity is extremely limited. As of April 12, thirteen cases had been confirmed. Should containment efforts fail, humanitarian officials predict “a disaster of gigantic proportions,” a “tipping point,” a “nightmare scenario” bringing “untold human suffering.”

For Israel, the prospect of contagion in Gaza conjures a “nightmare scenario” of its own: “masses of Palestinians rushing the border fence to save themselves from the raging disease in the besieged enclave.” Faced with “a flood of people at the border fence,” Israel would try to “halt attempted infiltrations.” But in a column for the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth, veteran military correspondent Alex Fishman outlined the political dilemma this would pose:

These will not be violent demonstrators but frightened and helpless civilians, many of whom might be infected and the military response will have to be a non-violent one because Israel cannot claim it has any legitimacy to open fire on sick civilians.

Unfortunately, precedent gives reason to doubt this judgment.

Read full article...

Next>
Jewish women freed after protest at Israeli consulate

Jan 07, 2009 01:36 PM

Eight Jewish Canadian women who were arrested while holding a protest inside the Israeli consulate have been released.

The RCMP arrested and handcuffed the women, who were staging a sit-in protest against the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza inside the consulate at 180 Bloor St. W. The women were held briefly inside a paddy wagon, but were not charged and were released.

Read more...
Who's Online
We have 17 guests online