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Palestinians claim COVID-19 efforts blunted by Israel in East Jerusalem

Some East Jerusalemites accuse Israel of not being forthcoming about the spread of the coronavirus in East Jerusalem and criticize it for shutting down local efforts against the virus that are backed by the Palestinian Authority.

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The initial approach by the Israeli Ministry of Health to the novel coronavirus in Palestinian communities of East Jerusalem has had residents concerned and in some respects having to rely on their own efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19. Fears among East Jerusalemites were exacerbated when the first death in the area from COVID-19 — that of Nawal Khalil, an elderly woman who suffered from chronic illness — was recorded on April 18. 

The Jerusalem Doctors’ Network had sounded the alarm April 13 about the spread of the coronavirus in East Jerusalem’s neighborhoods and called on residents to take measures to protect themselves, given the lack of information from Israeli authorities in this regard.

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