Given the urgency of current events, TWiP decided to change this month’s theme and address the unfolding of events in Palestine as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic. Difficult and painful decisions must be made as we are vacillating between numbness and concern that may reach panic. Leading world powers are confronted with their limitations and, sometimes, hubris. Thanks to prompt action initiated by the Palestinian Authority, Palestine has been spared the worst, hopefully not only for the short term. Hundreds of Palestinians, returning from all over and currently in quarantine in Jordan, are about to return to their loved ones. Others still work in Israel, where the disease is spreading. As the country is under lockdown, livelihoods have been threatened if not destroyed. Only one thing seems certain: once this is over, life will not be the same. Can we avoid the worst – and use the chance to make our societies more just and fairer?
This Week in Palestine would like to express sincere gratitude to PHARMACARE PLC for sponsoring this issue and to UNICEF for its support. Our thanks go also to the authors of this issue who include Dr. Samah Jabr, the head of the mental health unit at the Palestinian Ministry of Health; Dr. Ben Bouquet, a medical doctor and public health expert with WHO; former minister Dr. Hasan Abu-Libdeh; Matthew Dalling, chief child protection officer at UNICEF State of Palestine; Dr. Dalal Iriqat, vice president of the Arab American University; Dr. Ali Qleibo, anthropologist and artist; Dr. Amira Shaheen, expert in epidemiology and population health; Riyad Awad, former director of the Palestinian Health Information Center; Rania Muhareb, legal researcher and advocacy officer with the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq; Nada Awad, Al-Shabaka policy member; Raja Khalidi, director-general of the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS); Dr. Ahmad El-Atrash, spatial planner and urban development specialist; the mayors and city councils of Bethlehem, Beit Jala, and Beit Sahour; Abed Khooli, data-science, data-journalism, and open-data specialist; Raed Saadeh, owner and general manager of the Jerusalem Hotel; and Dr. Asa’d Ramlawi, medical doctor and Palestinian public health expert. There is no Limelight section in this issue and no public events are currently taking place in Palestine.
From the entire team at TWiP, we wish all our readers good health! We hope you are practicing physical distancing and staying connected. Please consider everyone, including yourself, a potential carrier of the coronavirus and act accordingly – with kindness and compassion. Much of the outcome of this pandemic is in our hands. Sacrifices are unavoidable; let us unite in concerned action for the well-being of all!