Since the last newsletter, the world was shaken by the novel COVID-19 virus. As of 12 July, there are more than 6158 confirmed cases in the West Bank and 72 confirmed cases in Gaza. Among Palestinian refugees in the UNRWA areas of operation, 724 cases were registered until 11 July. In the past weeks, the West Bank (as well as Israel) has seen a significant rise in cases and as a consequence, the state of emergency was extended for another 30 days. Concerns were in particular high for the situation in the overcrowded Palestinian refugee camps in the region and especially in Gaza, as the densely inhabited strip faced major humanitarian challenges due to the siege are currently exacerbated by the health crisis. In the West Bank, a rise in Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties was reported amidst the pandemic. Simultaneously, Israel did not hesitate to advance planning of the implementation of the US Administration’s Peace to Prosperity Plan or “Deal of the Century”. As such, Israel announced the implementation of the annexation of considerable parts of the West Bank starting from 1 July 2020. Meanwhile, despite the rapidly spreading virus, house evictions and demolitions took frequently place displacing entire Palestinian families. In response to the evolving events, the GNQP actively published and shared their knowledge and analysis through different channels.
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