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).
Israel was one of the first countries to respond quickly and sternly to the pandemic. Internationally, it was one of the first countries to shut ourselves off from the rest of the world. Foreigners are almost completely forbidden from entering the country and there are almost no flights in or out. International conferences and gatherings have been cancelled.
Estee Rieder-Indursky is fighting for women’s rights in Haredi community.