(Written by Rhana K*., coordinator of the women*seminar) Life in Palestine can be described as complicated at best. When you ask any Palestinian what words, they associate with living in Palestine, the first ones are the occupation and all the consequences and problems it brought into their lives. Another word would be challenging, as the opportunities for employment and mobility to reach any employment need careful thought and calculation. With the numerous layers of challenges and obstacles, Palestine was then thrown another ingredient into the mix – COVID-19.
Leadership is supposed to bring stability and consistency to the lives of its citizens, but with the Palestinian Authority, this has been the furthest from the truth. Its management of the pandemic during the first wave was more successful, however, it failed to offer its citizens the alternatives to maintain some level of economic safety.
Many Palestinians work in the informal sector of daily wage, such as freelancers and laborers, but with the lock down, things came to a halt and their work.
To make things even worse, during the lock down of the Palestinian territories, Israel was still not in lockdown and allowed the cheap Palestinian laborers to come and work in the construction sites as well in other sectors they are needed.
The lack of coordination and control between the Israeli and Palestinian governments lead to further spread of the virus among the populations. Some areas in Israel are completely shut down now during this third wave, while the Palestinian areas seem to have lost control with normalcy of life in almost every aspect, from schools to offices and restaurants.
As the winter and flu season approach, it is not clear what measures will be taken for the health and safety of the people in future.
* name changed