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The New Arab

Israeli settlers spit on cars to 'infect Palestinians with coronavirus' in Jerusalem

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 April, 2020

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Settlers from a settlement that has coronavirus cases in occupied Jerusalem were seen spitting at cars in what locals fear was an attempt to spread Palestinians.

Israeli settlers spat on Palestinian cars in the village of Beit Iksa, northwest of East Jerusalem in what locals fear is an attempt to spread the deadly novel coronavirus, according to locals.

The settlers from Ramot on Tuesday evening reportedly spat at cars driven by Palestinians that were entering and leaving the village.

Local Palestinians say this was a case of trying to spread coronavirus after a number of the settler population was tested positive for deadly disease.

Palestinian youth chased the settlers away after confronting them. They then proceeded to disinfect the road and cars to prevent an outbreak.

Ramot settlement has reported 17 cases of coronavirus out of its overall population of 550 people.

Settlers from Ramot are notorious for harassing the local Palestinian population, often caught vandalising their cars and spraying hateful graffiti on their property.

Israel has been widely condemned for its treatment of Palestinians during the coronavirus lockdown, with effects of occupation continuing in full force, along with added mistreatment against Palestinians, preventing them from being tested and seeking treatment.

Read also: Israeli forces ignore coronavirus distancing measures, continue campaign of arrests against Palestinians

Labourers from the occupied West Bank who enter Israel to work have been forced to sleep on the floors on their workplace whilst under quarantine in Israel, exacerbating the risk of spreading the deadly disease. One Palestinian labourer was even handcuffed and thrown out of an Israeli hospital and left to suffer after he was tested positive for coronavirus.

Last week, Israeli authorities entered a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank to confiscate materials designated to build a clinic to deal coronavirus.

Officials from the Israeli Civil Administration came to the village of Khirbet Ibziq with a military escort, bulldozer and two trucks equipped with cranes on Thursday morning to demolish community clinic and emergency housing, according to Israeli human rights monitor Btselem. 

According to the group, the officials seized poles and sheeting designated to form eight tents, two for a field clinic, two for a mosque, and four for emergency housing for people evacuated from their homes. A power generator, as well as supplies of sand, cement and cinder blocks to be used for the floor of the tents were also confiscated.

Ongoing illegal occupation

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians, human rights groups say.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

The Oslo agreement of 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three: Area A, Area B and Area C.

Area A is under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Area B's administration is controlled by the Palestinian Authority, with Israel controlling security. Area C is under full administrative and security control of Israel.

Israeli forces and settlers routinely harass Palestinians in the occupied territories through harming and killing civilians, demolishing homes, poisoning livestock, vandalising property and other forms of violence. 

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