Fact Sheet: Coronavirus under Israeli Apartheid
Palestinians, targeted by Israel's #CoronaRacism, are highly vulnerable to coronavirus due to decades of Israeli oppression.
Click to download and print a PDF version of our April 2020 Fact Sheet, with hyperlinks to sources. Further below these is a text-only version of the Fact Sheet, with hyperlinks to sources.
Corona Under Apartheid
Palestinians are targeted by Israel’s #CoronaRacism, on top of decades of oppression
“Epidemics … are disproportionately violent to populations burdened by poverty, military occupation, discrimination and institutionalised oppression.”
-- Letter in The Lancet, March 26, 2020
Due to systemic discrimination, Black Americans are dying at disproportionately high rates from the coronavirus, and in the U.K. people of color constitute one-third of critically ill coronavirus patients. Governments deny many indigenous communities basic infrastructure like running water needed to fight the virus. For millions of migrant workers walking home from the big cities after India announced a complete lockdown, and for families living in dense slums in the global south, isolation is an impossible privilege, and poverty and food insecurity pose as much danger as the disease itself. Racism against people perceived as Chinese has grown in India, Europe and the U.S.
Palestinians, living under Israeli occupation and apartheid, are highly vulnerable. Israel’s settler-colonial regime has systematically devastated our healthcare systems, rendering us more susceptible to pandemics. After 13 years of Israeli siege, Gaza has only 63 ventilators and 78 ICU beds for two million residents.
Israel’s response to the coronavirus embodies #CoronaRacism:
Israel failed initially to publish coronavirus guidance in Arabic.
Palestinian communities in Israel are “likely to become epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak” due to deficiencies in testing, information and health services.
Israel’s prison authorities have failed to adequately protect 5000 Palestinian political prisoners from the threat of a coronavirus outbreak.
Israeli soldiers dumped a number of Palestinian prisoners and laborers displaying virus symptoms at Israeli checkpoints without medical care.
Israel destroyed a health clinic serving a vulnerable Jordan Valley Palestinian community.
Israel has conditioned allowing coronavirus-related medical supplies into Gaza on Palestinian political concessions, a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.
As Palestinians mobilize to fight the pandemic despite Israel’s #CoronaRacism, Israel has continued to target us:
Israel's occupation army continues to raid or demolish Palestinian homes and allow attacks by fanatic settlers.
Israeli soldiers have killed three Palestinian youth in the West Bank in March and early April.
Israel continues to build illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns that pressure Israel to respect Palestinian rights are more vital than ever. Let’s cut the ties of complicity and build bonds of solidarity!