It is no secret that Jerusalem’s Arab residents are particularly vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus. Gabi Barabash, professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine, explained that Israel must give priority to East Jerusalem in the fight against COVID-19. But that is easier said than done.
“Fatah [the ruling faction of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] has been trying in recent weeks to take advantage of the situation to establish its own authority over East Jerusalem,” said N12 security expert Ehud Yaari. “To this end, Fatah has founded an emergency committee that distributes food in the Arab residential areas in East Jerusalem, sets up unauthorized roadblocks and provides residents with medical care. They are trying to create an alternative government system in East Jerusalem.”
This has created confusion among the Palestinian Arab population in Jerusalem. People don’t to whom to listen – the Israeli Ministry of Health and police, or the Fatah representatives on the ground in these Arab neighborhoods. The Israeli security services are of course fully aware of the situation, and recently summoned the Palestinian Minister for Jerusalem...
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