Social distancing while protesting

April 20th 2020

Here is today’s DeepDive.

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Yara Hawari on the difficulty of praising Israeli - Palestinian collaboration during the pandemic (PalestineDeepDive)

Yara Hawari spoke to Palestine DeepDive from home in Palestine. Yara is a Senior Policy Fellow at Al-Shabaka. She was speaking as part of our first live panel on the topic of "Palestine & Covid-19".

She can be followed on Twitter: @yarahawari

/ / We are in the midst of planning future panel discussions—send us an email if there is a particular topic or story you would like us to address / / 

Thousands of Israelis maintain social distancing while protesting Netanyahu (Axios)

Some of the strangest pictures you will see from this quite exceptional moment in history:

More than 2,000 Israelis stood 6 feet apart in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday to protest what they consider the erosion of democracy under the coronavirus-era government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The "Black Flag" demonstrations, which began in March, are a response to stringent coronavirus policies that include phone tracking for civilians. Police marked spots on the ground where protesters could stand.

Palestinians In The West Bank Improvise Checkpoints To Help Fight Coronavirus (NPR)

In the shadow of Israeli watchtowers and settlements, Palestinians affiliated with Fatah have co-opted an emblem of their occupier and set up improvised checkpoints — to enforce a Palestinian Authority lockdown in areas where Palestinian police are not permitted to patrol.

The strict lockdown has paid off so far. The West Bank has recorded fewer than 300 cases of infection and two deaths.

The Palestinian leadership, which usually has a 30% to 40% overall approval rating, enjoys 96% support for its response to the coronavirus, according to a recent poll.

With Jerusalem locked down, holy site pilgrims turn to virtual reality (The Times of Israel)

This year is the first time since 1992 that Passover, Easter and Ramadan have all fallen in the same month. It should be among the busiest tourist months Jerusalem has seen in decades, if ever.

In collaboration with two VR firms — Blimey in Israel and OccupiedVR in Canada — The Tower of David Museum allows users to walk through the Church of the Holy Sepulchre during Easter’s Holy Fire ceremony; sit among worshipers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan prayers; and stand with the throngs at the Western Wall as they receive the ancient priestly blessing at Passover.

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