Covid-19 in Palestine and recording of second Cafe Palestine

1. Recording of the second Café Palestine from Gaza on 25 April

password: 3f#&Z1td

This is the recording of the conversation with psychiatrist Dr Yasser Abu Jamei, Director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme. Yasser offering a mental health professional’s insight into life in Gaza under the combined pressures of the blockade, and the coronavirus pandemic.

If you can, please donate to the work of GCMHP. The pandemic is impacting on the resourcing of Palestinian NGOs.

2. The next Café Palestine will take place on Saturday 9 May. Further details and a link to the meeting will be included in a forthcoming email to the mailing list prior to the event.

If you haven’t already signed up, you can join the mailing list here:


3. Covid-19 in Palestine

We shall share links related to the progress of the epidemic in Palestine. The coronavirus endangers us all, but not equally. For communities under occupation and siege, where state policies have exacerbated overcrowding, unemployment, the de-development of the economy including the weakening of public health (access to clean water) and medical services generally, and where racist assumptions influence state health policies, the situation is particularly grave. Here prevention is essential if a catastrophe is to be averted.

  1. There are clear indications that the occupation forces are prioritising ideological objectives above the protection of Palestinians from the virus (listen to Café Palestine recording above). Read these articles by Diana Buttu and Tamara Nassar from the Electronic Intifada: and Governor of Jerusalem has been arrested for working to protect residents of East Jerusalem from the disease: from a website that reports on events in Silwan, and which is well worth following: Israeli forces also shut a covid-19 testing site in East Jerusalem and arrested its staff:“The Coronavirus is like a nightmare within a nightmare” by Rasha Kaloti,
  2. A factual update from Jewish Voice for Peace: Health Advisory Council. The information at this link will be regularly updated:
  3. An interview with Head of the Palestinian Mental Health Unit, psychiatrist Dr Samah Jabr on how the epidemic is affecting the West Bank:
  4. Sign this Petition organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, calling for an immediate lifting of the siege of Gaza:
  5. PALESTINIAN PRISONERS DAY: children and adults

Defence of the Child International has called for the release of all child detainees held in Israeli prisons:

Add your name to their petition here:

PSC held a Webinar on 17 April with Brad Parker from DCI on the situation facing child detainees:

On Palestinian Prisoners Day on 17th April, the Palestine-UK Social Work Network sent

their petition on child prisoners

signed by over 300 British social workers, to the British government and the Israeli Union of Social Workers. As well as calling on the Israeli government to implement the recommendations of the DCI report,

No Way To Treat A Child,

in their message the network added to the call to release all detained Palestinian children in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is great concern about the situation facing Palestinians in Israeli jails (see this report from Al Jazeera:

The Palestine Centre for Human Rights has called for the release of all vulnerable detainees:
However, argues Ramona Wadi, the argument for their release is a political one, not a humanitarian one: ‘They must be released because their anti-colonialism is a legitimate cause and does not violate international law.’

The United Nations has also urged Israel to protect detainees:


4. Israel is trying to thwart an investigation by the International Criminal Court

This is a health matter: removing the Occupation’s legal immunity is essential to preventing further atrocities. Listen to this fascinating and informative webinar from the Foundation for Middle East Peace, with Al Haq and B’tselem, Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations:

Join a further online discussion “Palestine at the ICC” on Tuesday, here: