By Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute—-
While Israel is working overtime with Palestinians to curb and prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Arab states appear to be doing what they do best when it comes to helping their Palestinian brothers: nothing at all.
In the past few days, Israeli authorities delivered 200 coronavirus testing kits to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. In addition, Israeli and Palestinian professional teams have been working together to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Israeli authorities have also delivered another 200 coronavirus testing kits to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, despite the thousands of rockets and incendiary and bomb-carrying balloons that the ruling government, Hamas, has launched from there towards Israel.
In addition, Israeli authorities have coordinated the transfer of 20 tons of disinfectant material from Israeli factories to the Palestinian health sector. The material included chlorine and hydrogen peroxide, used for disinfection, preservation of hygiene and sanitation. These disinfectant materials are used for cleaning surfaces in open areas and help in cleaning closed areas, including mosques and churches.
It is worth noting that Egypt, which has a shared border with the Gaza Strip, did not send any test kits or disinfectant materials to the Palestinians living there.
Palestinians in Lebanon, meanwhile, are worried that the Lebanese authorities may use the coronavirus as an excuse to intensify restrictions even further on their refugee camps.
Samir Geagea, a Lebanese politician and chairman of the Lebanese Forces, an anti-Palestinian Christian political party, has come under sharp criticism for calling for the immediate closure of the 12 Palestinian refugee camps in his country.
As of January 2019, there were 475,075 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). “Palestinians in Lebanon do not enjoy several important rights,” UNRWA pointed out.
“They cannot work in as many as 39 professions and cannot own property . Because they are not formally citizens of another state, Palestinian refugees are unable to claim the same rights as other foreigners living and working in Lebanon. The conflict in Syria has forced many Palestinians from Syria to flee to Lebanon in search of safety. Nearly 29,000 of them are receiving UNRWA assistance in the country, including cash assistance, education, health care, and protection.”
Palestinian refugees are barred from numerous professions in Lebanon, including medicine, law and engineering. Continue Reading….