Unlike the rest of the country, the residents of the hotel aren’t in lock-down. Or at least, not within the hotel. “We can do whatever we want. We’ve arranged schedules for ourselves. We play games, we listen to music, we dance, we do yoga, I do standup, we hang out, some people pray. We eat a lot. “
The police are out in full force. They always are during these holidays to maintain order among the crowds of hundreds of thousands that come to pray. But this year, they are out to ensure that there are no crowds, as Jerusalem remains under virtual lockdown.
In its efforts to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, the Israeli government has deployed thousands of Israeli soldiers to work with the police, along with the health and interior ministries, emergency health services Magen David Adom and other civilian authorities.
At least three women in Israel. have been murdered since the lockdown began in March.
Cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian medical professionals to battle COVID-19 virus has been taking place since mid-February.
Mahmoud, the nurse working in the hospital in the north, concludes, “the medical system is a place of equality between Arabs and Jews, both for staff and for patients. But outside of the medical system, Arabs are discriminated against in many ways. We have needed systemic solutions to create greater equality for a long time, and now we realize that we needed them even more.”
The possibility of a full outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in the Gaza Strip is both likely and terrifying. More than two million people, over half of them children, live in the 139-square-mile area, one of the world’s most highly-populated regions. Unemployment stands at 52 percent and half of the population lives in poverty. Much of the housing and 97 percent of Gaza’s water is unfit for human consumption, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).