Almaghazi Refugee camp is in the center of the Gaza Strip, characterized by its narrow alleys and high population density, with more than 31,329 refugees housed in an area of no more than 0.6 square kilometres
There are over 20 designated facilities across the strip, including schools, hotels and medical facilities, housing more than 1,200 people, according to a report released on Saturday by the Palestinian Authority’s Health Ministry
Gaza imposes its first-ever curfew after 1987 intifada. The blockaded Gaza Strip declared lock down after first cases of community corona virus spread. In an urgent press release, the Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday evening the first four cases in the impoverished territories despite strict measures that were taken to confront the pandemic. Four Palestinians from the same family tested positive in Almaghazai refugee camp.
The family were infected with the virus after contact with their daughter who went to Israel along with her patient daughter. She spent only a few hours in the Israeli-controlled crossing waiting area but was refused the access to cross. The Israeli authorities asked her to leave and return the next day.
She returned the next day and was allowed to exit Gaza to Almaqased hospital in the Occupied Jerusalem to do a surgery for her daughter. She was tested in the hospital where it was discovered that she infected with the Covid-19.
Imposition of Curfew
Following the discovery of the four cases from her family in Gaza, the Ministry of Interior imposed a curfew on the camp. Almaghazi Refugee camp is in the center of the Gaza Strip, characterized by its narrow alleys and high population density, with more than 31,329 refugees housed in an area of no more than 0.6 square kilometres.
Most of the refugees took shelter in Maghazi after they were expelled from their towns in 1948 by the Zionist militias. Like other camps in Gaza, Al-Maghazi has high unemployment and poverty, exacerbating pressure and challenges on the Gaza Ministry of Health. The announcement of the infected cases has sparked fear and anxiety among the vulnerable and besieged people in Gaza.
Soha Diab, 45, said, ” Gaza has enough to be destroyed, Israeli siege, electricity blackout, Israeli airstrikes, contaminated water, very crowded refugee camps, lack of medication and healthcare materials” “And now with this pandemic inside the open-air prison means that this is the real humanitarian calamity” she added in anger.
Salama Ma’rouf, the Head of the Government’s media office stated that they’ve always warned and called for the international community that Gaza can’t deal with this virus with its fragile health system. He added that despite all of that they’ve managed to curb the pandemic for seven months so far. Now all schools, kindergarten, organisations and everything is shut down completely.
On March 15, authorities in Gaza took measures to place incoming residents in quarantine facilities for 21 days before contacting with their family inside the coastal enclave. There are over 20 designated facilities across the strip, including schools, hotels and medical facilities, housing more than 1,200 people, according to a report released on Saturday by the Palestinian Authority’s Health Ministry.
Over the last 13 nights, the Israeli occupation army has carried out attacks on Gaza, along with tightening the blockade under which it has banned the entry of fuel for Gaza’s sole power plant, plunging the Palestinian territory into darkness.
The recent escalation came after the Palestinian youth started to release incendiary balloons into Israel in a gesture of protest against the Israeli occupation’s procrastination in abiding by its previous agreements with the Palestinian resistance, which was to ease the siege on Gaza. This procrastination has caused the continued deterioration of the economic, health and services sectors in Gaza.
An Egyptian and Qatari delegation has been trying to broker a return to an informal truce between Palestinian resistance factions and Israeli occupation.
The Gaza Strip is considered the most densely populated area in the world with more than two million people, more than half of whom live in poverty, according to the World Bank. The Palestinian territory has been under a devastating Israeli blockade since 2007 and witnessed over 3 deadly Israeli aggression during these years.