Mariam Barghouti writes in Aljazeera:
Despite the raging pandemic and Israel’s ever-increasing restrictions on the movements of Palestinians, a few friends and I still manage to meet occasionally to chat and catch up. As we sit, drinking tea and coffee, my phone would buzz with constant updates sent by journalists, activists or friends about the rising number of infections and developments surrounding Israel’s annexation plans.
As I read one depressing message after the other, the faces around me would go blank. These occasional gatherings – meant to distract us from the suffocation of living in a pandemic and an occupation – often sink into the generally sombre mood dominating the Palestinian experience.
Although we do not know what will happen next, we are terribly afraid that it is going to be perilous. Every now and then, we would ask each other, “Do you think we will survive what is coming?”
We know some of us will not. We are constantly reminded of that. On June 23, 27-year-old Ahmed Erakat, was executed at an Israeli checkpoint near Bethlehem. Two weeks later, 29-year-old Ibrahim Abu Yacoub was also shot and killed by Israeli forces north of Salfit in the West Bank. In a trigger-happy occupation, none of us is safe.
As international media is abuzz with speculation about Israel’s intent to formally annex parts of the West Bank, and as world governments prepare to issue their n-th statements of empty words against Israel, we in Palestine wonder how much more annexation we can survive.