Gaza is only 365 square kilometres and home to almost two million Palestinians. It's been under a comprehensive Israeli land and sea blockade for 13 years. Israeli military assaults in 2008-2009, 2012 and 2014 have laid waste to much of its infrastructure.
Poor sanitation, lack of clean water, poverty, unemployment and an acute shortage of hospital beds and equipment are a perfect storm for disease transmission.
The people of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories -- under permanent military rule and denied the most basic civil and political rights -- are particularly ill-equipped to protect themselves.
The first two cases in Gaza were diagnosed on March 21. That was 12 days ago. As of April 2, there are 12 reported cases of COVID-19 in Gaza, and 155 in Palestine as a whole.
David Kattenburg is the publisher of The Green Planet Monitor, a Canadian online news magazine based in Winnipeg. The situation in Palestine is one of his main ongoing areas of coverage.
He spoke with Mariam Abu Alatta about the current situation early last week just after the announcement of the first two cases. Abu Alatta is project and fundraising officer of the Aisha Association for Woman and Child Protection.
Image: Gigi Ibrahim/Flickr
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