Israel Halts Coronavirus Tests in Gaza

Gaza on high alert following medical reports of the first two coronavirus patients in the besieged Strip. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud)

Israeli soldiers conducting coronavirus tests in the Gaza Strip have been ordered to stop by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett due to ‘coordination issues’.

The Israeli army had committed to conducting about 50 tests per day for Gaza residents at a military laboratory in Tzrifin.

However, according to Israeli newspaper Maariv, the Israeli government canceled the initiative, claiming that Bennett himself was not aware of the army initiative due to a “lack of communication”.

In total, only 100 samples were tested at the military lab, which is also conducting tests for soldiers suspected of having the deadly virus.

Gaza, with a population of 2 million, has been under a hermetic Israeli siege since 2006, when the Palestinian group Hamas won the democratic legislative elections in occupied Palestine.

Since then, Israel has carried out numerous bombing campaigns and several major wars, that resulted in the death of thousands of people.

With 13 coronavirus cases already confirmed in the Gaza Strip, hospitals that were once overwhelmed by gunshot wounds and amputations are now gearing up for a very different challenge in a densely populated, coastal enclave of two million Palestinians, many living in refugee camps.

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

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