The Corona virus crisis is hitting us all and the implications are horrifying us equally in Palestine and the UK – though so far our governments have taken a different approach. In the UK, there is nothing like a ‘lockdown’ but in Palestine the streets are empty, the schools and university shut and the Palestinian police enforcing a ban on cafes opening. CADFA has had to cancel our next visit to Palestine (sadly) and we are sure that our hoped-for summer visit will have to be delayed. And all of our future visits and events have to be carefully considered. We wish all our members and friends the very best at this time.
At the same time, look at what the Israelis have done. This worrying map shows Israel using the Corona crisis to implement the E1 settlement plan that they have wanted to for years. Previously it has been too controversial for the international community as it ends the two-state mirage. On this map, see the thicker red line. It shows that ne w roads – previously built as if for military purposes but blocked by big stones – will be opened for the Palestinians, taking them from the Abu Dis/ Aizariyeh area north to Ramallah in a move which cuts Abu Dis off from Jericho and vastly expanding the area of the Israeli settlements (still internationally illegal, but look, now “on the ground.” When the world recovers, as we hope, from the Corona crisis, would we expect the Israelis to relax this and give the Palestinians more room?