The PA’s response to the coronavirus shows that Palestine is ready for statehood

Palestinian police officers with masks stand guard in Bethlehem, 5 March 2020

Kamel Hawwash writes in Middle East Monitor:

The US and Israel, as well as its supporters, seek to deny the Palestinians their rights to freedom, justice and equality by claiming that the people are not ready for statehood; that they have not as yet built their institutions that would allow them to govern themselves. However, in the face of the current coronavirus pandemic, the Palestinian institutions have proven themselves to be capable of dealing with a crisis that many developed countries have failed to face up to.

At the time of writing, there had been no deaths in the Palestinian areas and the number of people infected with the virus stood at 59, with 17 having recovered. Most of the patients are in Bethlehem, where the first case was discovered. Since the first seven cases were announced on 5 March, the number of confirmed patients rose to 20, all of whom are Palestinian residents of the city in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian Authority moved quickly to place the city under lockdown in an attempt to contain the virus.

Of those 20 cases, 16 were quarantined in the Angel Hotel, along with 15 American tourists who, according to the PA, are believed to have come into contact with those carrying the virus. The Palestinians gave generously to those in quarantine, prompting much gratitude from the Americans isolated with them. “Thank you to all of the Palestinian community of Beit Jala for the love and kindness that you have shown we Americans during our stay at the Angel Hotel!” wrote one alongside a photo of a fried chicken meal from a popular local restaurant.

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