COVID 19 is ravaging Gaza while Israel blocks medical supplies

The collapse of their meager health care system is imminent:

A rapid rise in coronavirus infections in the Gaza Strip has reached a “catastrophic stage”, with the blockaded Palestinian enclave’s medical system likely to collapse soon, health officials warn. COVID is spreading exponentially in Gaza – one of the most crowded places on Earth – especially in refugee camps, and the health ministry has warned of “disastrous” implications.

A lack of coronavirus testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) is also complicating the fight, as Israel continues to impose restrictions on medical supplies reaching Gaza.

Joe Biden has a lot on his plate right now, but he can't wait until January 20 to take action on issues like this. He needs to fold Netanyahu's ears back over this obvious human rights violation, and tell him in no uncertain terms that using critical medical supplies as a "barter" will not be acceptable in the new administration. Mike Pompeo just spent several days with the Israeli leader, and no doubt Palestinian suffering was not on the agenda at all:

Pompeo, on what may be his final official trip through the Middle East, was in Saudi Arabia following a three-day visit to Israel in which he sought to cement Trump’s legacy of tilting U.S. policy toward one favored by Netanyahu’s government — much like Trump’s Iran stance.

Pompeo became the first secretary of state to visit Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights and declared that Washington would view an international boycotts movement targeting Israel as anti-Semitic, among other shifts.

Secrecy surrounded Netanyahu’s movements Sunday. A scheduled meeting of the government’s cabinet-level coronavirus-response committee was canceled. Flight tracking sites showed an unusual route of a plane flying directly from Tel Aviv to Neom Sunday evening and returning early Monday, according to the Associated Press.

For decades the United States has held a posture that opposed these illegal settlements. The effects were mixed, with an occasional freeze on new settlements, and even the removal of some. Like many moves by the Trump administration, Pompeo's visits upended decades of work to solve problems in the Occupied Territory. Hopefully that green light will turn red under Biden, and to hell with a yellow warning phase.

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