electronic intifada for dec 3

German vaccine pledge appears to discriminate against Palestinians
Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, Dec 2 2020

The UK government has become the first in the world to approve general use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and the German company BioNTech. Other countries can be expected to follow quickly, marking a new phase in the fight against the deadly pandemic. Israel may be among the first in line to receive the vaccine. According to Israeli media, Germany is planning to give Israel special access to vaccine stocks. The JTA reported in October:

A report by the Ynet website claimed Germany used its influence in the EU to bend the rule that a European-produced vaccination would be given first to European countries. Germany justified the decision in part through its historical commitment to supporting Israel. German foreign minister Heiko Maas and health minister Jens Spahn made the promise to Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Israeli ambassador in Berlin Jeremy Issacharoff, in keeping with Germany’s ‘special relationship’ with Israel as a response to the Holocaust.

The reported vaccine deal can be read as a continuation of German state racism against Palestinians. Martin Konečný, a Brussels-based policy analyst, posed the question:

The German embassy in Tel Aviv did not respond to a request from The Electronic Intifada for an answer to this question. But it is a safe assumption Palestinians will indeed be denied the vaccine while Israeli settlers living illegally on their land gain privileged access. This is because Jewish settlers are fully integrated into Israel’s political, health and legal systems. Meanwhile, Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip must deal with a health-care system that is grossly under-resourced. This results in glaring disparities between Palestinians and Israelis, according to a 2015 report by Physicians for Human Rights Israel, which states:

The average life expectancy of Palestinians residing in the occupied territories is about 10 years lower than average life expectancy in Israel. In recent years, the life expectancy gap between Israel and the occupied territories has increased.

Gaza’s health system was already at breaking point after 13 years of Israeli siege and successive military attacks. It now faces disaster with the pandemic. Physicians for Human Rights makes clear that the massive health inequalities result from Israeli-imposed limits on freedom of movement for Palestinian patients and medical professionals and ambulances, as well as other Israeli control mechanisms that “prevent the Palestinian ministry of health from providing full health services to the residents of the occupied territories.” The group demands that Israel bear the responsibility for the health of the Palestinian population, as required under international law for an occupying power. Yet rather than hold Israel accountable for its lethal violations of its basic legal and humanitarian obligations, Germany appears eager to help exacerbate them. German elites have long held that coddling Israel, an apartheid settler-colony that systematically violates the rights of millions of Palestinians just because they are not Jewish, qualifies as atonement for the German government’s murder of millions of European Jews in its death camps during WW2. This has included providing Israel with billions of dollars in weapons and other support to further its crimes. Israel is currently showing off its latest German-supplied and funded warships.

Germany’s support also includes its intensifying campaign to suppress any criticism of Israel and its racist state ideology Zionism by smearing critics as anti-Semites. In other words, the lesson that German elites have taken from the German government’s crimes against Jews is not that all forms of aggressive war, colonization, apartheid and discrimination must be opposed. Rather, it is that aggressive war, colonization, apartheid and discrimination must be supported as long as the Israeli perpetrators purport to be acting in the name of the “Jewish people” and as long as their victims are non-Jewish Palestinians. Presumably, once Israel’s colonial settlers get their German-supplied vaccines, they will be able to intensify their land theft, while Palestinians continue to be ravaged by the pandemic. German officials, meanwhile, will feel that they have once again done a good deed absolving them of their forebears’ crimes.

App makes killing Palestinians as easy as ordering pizzas
David Cronin, Electronic Intifada, Dec 2 2020

The group Palestine Action has protested continuously at sites in Britain run by the Israeli weapons firm Elbit Systems. (Via Facebook)

Killing a Palestinian will soon be as easy as ordering a pizza. That repugnant message, albeit couched in less explicit terms, was delivered through a recent article published by the website Israel Defense. It quotes Oren Matzliach, a colonel who is overseeing the use of a new app by the Israeli military. The app would allow a commander to type details about a target on a small electronic device and then troops would open fire on that target swiftly. Ordering an attack will be “like ordering a book on Amazon or a pizza in a pizzeria using your smartphone,” Matzliach said. The causal way in which the colonel speaks about remote-control slaughter should outrage everyone. The Israeli authorities, or high-ranking figures within them, view every Palestinian as a legitimate target. That much became clear, if it wasn’t already, during the Great March of Return protests in Gaza over the past few years. Civilians who demanded their basic rights were officially declared as “terrorists” by the Israeli government. The app has been developed through the Digital Land Army program, developed by the Israeli arms maker Elbit Systems in conjunction with the Israeli military. Such “innovations” prove why it is vital to disrupt the weapons trade. For several months, Elbit has been the focus of protests organized by the group Palestine Action in Britain. The protests, which have included temporary shut-downs of an Elbit-owned plant near Birmingham and invasions of the firm’s London offices, have evidently irritated Israel and its lobbyists. An Israeli minister is reported to have asked that the British government suppress them.

Protesters can take heart from how previous actions of this nature have made a significant impact. When Israel attacked Lebanon during 2006, nine activists occupied a software plant that Raytheon had opened in the northern Irish city of Derry. Raytheon decided to withdraw from Derry as a result of that protest. It is a safe bet that conversations are taking place among Elbit’s managers about the future of their investments in Britain. Elbit regards Britain as a priority market and has developed a network of factories and offices across the country. The British government has become an important client for Elbit. Between 2018 and this year, the British defense ministry ordered around $61m worth of Elbit’s products or services. During October, Elbit was an active participant in an annual exercise held by the British military. The exercise bears the not-so-subtle name of the Army Warfighting Experiment. Elbit took advantage of the experiment to showcase new radio equipment and a satellite communications system intended for soldiers.

Elbit also displayed a portable shelter that can, if a promotional brochure is accurate, be set up “close to enemy lines” during a military operation. The shelters, which look compact and relatively comfortable, are “field proven,” according to the brochure.

The weapons industry trots out euphemisms like “field proven” or “battle proven” to alert potential clients how the items being marketed have been tested in wars. Elbit’s most lucrative “battle proven” products are probably the drones it has supplied to Israel’s military. They have proven lethal when used for firing missiles at civilians. Not surprisingly, Elbit does not openly gloat about how it abets Israel’s crimes against humanity. Sometimes it even conceals the fact that it is an Israeli company. Promoting its British investments on Twitter, Elbit favors the deceptive hashtag “made in Britain.”

For people across the globe who experienced colonization, the British Army has long been regarded as one of the most violent organizations in history. Elbit, however, proclaims itself proud to support that army. Britain’s troops look “cool” with Elbit’s wearable computers strapped to their backs, the company brags.

When the weapons industry makes killing as easy as ordering a pizza, there is a risk we will no longer be shocked by how it profits from suffering. Activists who are determined to keep us shocked must be applauded.

WaPo reporter moves from covering Israel to working for it
Michael F Brown, Electronic Intifada, Dec 1 2020

Ruth Eglash (Photo: Facebook)

The Pentagon to Lockheed Martin pipeline occasionally receives public scrutiny as an example of the Washington swamp. Less in the media spotlight are the career moves of members of the Fourth Estate. One such recent move should have journalists grappling with their ethics: WaPo Jerusalem correspondent to chief communications officer and adviser to Israel’s ambassador to the UN and incoming ambassador to the US, Gilad Erdan. That’s the move Ruth Eglash has made. She wrote for the WaPo as recently as October:

Now, her new boss is scheduled to speak to the virulently anti-Palestinian hate group ZOA on Dec 27, the 12th anniversary of Israel launching the first of three wars against the people of the Gaza Strip. The Electronic Intifada has previously raised concerns about Eglash’s politics, as when she liked a post by Netanyahu’s son Yair that indicated he believes anti-fascists and activists with Black Lives Matter are a bigger threat to Israel, and perhaps to Jews world-wide, than the neo-Nazis whose rampage in Charlottesville in 2017 left one person dead. And as far back as 2013, Ali Abunimah raised concerns about her husband’s clients and close partners, including Israeli government and Israeli-government backed entities such as the Ministry of Tourism, Taglit-Birthright Israel and the JNF. Abunimah wrote then that the WaPo’s response was “less than satisfactory.” The ethical concern appears well-placed in light of Eglash’s departure to work for Erdan. During his tenure as Israel’s strategic affairs minister countering the BDS movement, Erdan attacked American peace and justice organizations such as the American Friends Service Committee, Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine, National Students for Justice in Palestine, Codepink and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. Eglash amplified Erdan’s message with a 2018 tweet in which she failed to highlight any pushback against the outrageous suggestion that American Christian, Muslim, Jewish, interfaith and secular organizations were in league with groups Israel deems to be terrorist organizations:

Erdan’s attack, particularly in the context of the anti-Palestinian Trump administration, endangered free and open speech in the US on behalf of Palestinian rights. And now the Trump administration has put forward Pompeo to argue that the BDS movement’s position in favor of equal rights for Palestinians can be conflated with anti-Semitism. This stance against equal rights is not particularly surprising from a White House known for its white supremacy. It is, however, a position that has received encouragement from Israeli political leaders such as Erdan and Netanyahu. Similarly, Eglash promoted Erdan’s racism when she tweeted his view of the Palestinian citizens of Israel:

One might typically think this was intended as an exposure of racism, except for the fact that Eglash seems not to have tweeted a counter-racism view, and then just over a year later she chose to go to work for Erdan. Who does that? Someone harboring anti-Palestinian racist views? Quite possibly, as even those adept in “speaking Democrat,” as Eglash reportedly is, can be profoundly anti-Palestinian. Eglash’s charade at the WaPo is over. We now have a fuller sense of who she is and what she believes, and it’s antithetical to equal rights for Palestinians. This puts her prior BDS tweets in a clearer light. In 2015, Eglash tweeted two queries about BDS:

Being generous, it was somewhat unclear at the time whether Eglash intended to ask if BDS was a threat to Israel or a threat to Israeli apartheid, but respondents interpreted her as asking whether BDS was a threat to Israel, not whether it was a threat to Israeli apartheid. It is now crystal-clear that they interpreted her question correctly. Two years ago Eglash tweeted out a letter from Erdan to Bruce Rauner, who at the time was the governor of Illinois:

There’s nothing included about the work of peace and justice organizations to get Airbnb to recognize the flagrant Israeli discrimination against Palestinians in occupied territory. There’s no commentary about settlements being a violation of international law. She’s simply a stenographer here for Erdan’s talking points and contributing to the dispossession of Palestinians. She further advances the dispossession of Palestinians when she tweets out, as she did yesterday, a Newsweek op-ed by Erdan that criticizes “the Palestinian refusal to recognize our right to exist as the world’s only Jewish state.” Palestinians should not be expected to subject themselves to second-class citizenship in a “Jewish state,” any more than Black South Africans would be expected to endure inferior status in a “white state” in apartheid South Africa. Unsurprisingly, Erdan and Eglash had to turn to the anti-Palestinian opinion editor Josh Hammer at Newsweek to place the op-ed. Finally, when Israel was in the process in 2018 of expelling Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine director Omar Shakir, Eglash gave more attention to the Israeli view in her tweets, including Erdan’s view, than she did to HRW’s defense:

Eglash has now chosen to work for a man who strove to expel a prominent American human rights defender from Israel. This strongly suggests she did not take Palestinian, Israeli or other human rights experts seriously when they raised concerns with her, but rather that she preferred the official Israeli take. The WaPo did not respond to inquiries from The Electronic Intifada regarding ethical concerns raised by Eglash’s job change. The newspaper’s ethical guidelines are non-existent regarding how to handle switching jobs, but the guidelines do state that “the journalist shall refrain from acting as an auxiliary of the police or other security services.” The WaPo’s vice president of communications, Kristine Coratti, told The Electronic Intifada by email:

We are confident that Ruth Eglash covered Israel fairly and complied with our standards throughout her tenure at The Post.

The answer is telling: “she covered Israel fairly.” Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territory don’t figure into the response. Nor does the BDS movement for Palestinian freedom, despite being a specific focus of inquiry. A Nov 9 Facebook post in which Eglash declared herself to be a “FORMER WASHINGTON POST CORRESPONDENT” led to congratulatory responses pouring in. Erdan commented in the document Eglash shared:

Ruth’s wealth of journalism experience and her deep knowledge of current affairs will serve our nation extremely well. Having a person on my team with a deep understanding of the media in order to present Israel’s positions on key issues was of the utmost importance to me and our government.

Eglash’s statement in the announcement speaks volumes. She declared:

A strong US-Israel relationship and showcasing Israel’s successes to the world has always been a passion of mine.

Palestinians she interviewed for the WaPo must surely be wondering how their stories of occupation and dispossession at the hands of Israel fit into Eglash’s conception of these “successes” and this “passion” of hers. They’ve been had. One Palestinian analyst in the region, who previously worked with Eglash, told The Electronic Intifada that the WaPo journalist “spent a lot of time covering up her real political intentions and beliefs” and instead gave the impression she opposed Netanyahu. This analyst expressed alarm that many American and British journalists working for foreign agencies “have taken a position” that it is their “birthright to come and live as a colonizer on stolen Palestinian land.” The analyst called into question their objectivity, and indicated this state of affairs becomes harder to take when the same media outfits hiring these journalists won’t hire Palestinians or Palestinian Americans for the same positions without subjecting them to intense scrutiny. Now this arrangement has led to the highest scrutiny for Palestinians while Eglash is jumping from the WaPo to work for “a minister who was among the most racist ministers in the Netanyahu government.” Readers of Eglash should be wondering how her lack of concern for BDS-backed equal rights for Palestinians and Jews influenced her writing. And the WaPo ought to ask some hard questions of itself, though it is clear that so long as she treated Israel “fairly” it isn’t a priority for the newspaper how she treated Palestinians.

Palestine in Pictures, Nov 2020
Electronic intifada, Dec 2 2020

A Palestinian sits in Khirbet Humsa, a Bedouin community east of the West Bank town of Tubas on Nov 6,
two days after the Israeli military razed the homes of nearly 80 Palestinians in the village
despite the coronavirus and the onset of winter. Oday Daibes/APA

Israeli occupation forces killed two Palestinians at military checkpoints in the West Bank during November. More than 30 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip so far in 2020 or died from injuries sustained during previous years. Soldiers shot and killed Bilal Adnan Rawajba, 29, at Huwwara checkpoint near Nablus on Nov 4. The Israeli army claimed that Rawajba had opened fire on Israeli soldiers “as he drove out of the city.” The family of Rawajba, who was a legal adviser with the rank of captain in the Palestinian Authority security forces, said he was heading to work when he was killed. Video of the incident shows an Israeli soldier shooting Rawajba’s car at close range multiple times. The PLO condemned what it called the “extra-judicial execution” of Rawajba. The PLO accused Israel of “preventing ambulance crews from reaching him, leaving him to bleed to death.” No Israeli soldiers were injured during the incident.

The second Palestinian killed during November, Nour Shqeir, was also shot in his car in what may amount to an extra-judicial execution. Shqeir, a 36-year-old shuttle driver, accelerated towards Israeli forces at a Jerusalem-area checkpoint on Nov 25. Israeli forces had “suspected that Shqeir’s documents did not belong to him,” it has been reported. According to the human rights group B’Tselem:

Shqeir’s vehicle hit an Israeli Border Police officer, injuring him lightly. In response, Border Police officers and security guards at the checkpoint opened fire. Footage of the incident shows that Shqeir then drove on for several hundred meters and stopped by the roadside. Several Border Police officers and security guards ran towards Shqeir’s car and one of them fired four shots at him from a few dozen meters away. One of the Israeli forces repeatedly shouted “don’t shoot” and “stop” before and after shots were fired. Shqeir was shot from afar, while his car was idling. He clearly posed no risk. The police did not claim this was a car-ramming attempt.

Shqeir’s body was transferred to his family days after his slaying, indicating that the authorities don’t believe he had intended an attack. Israel withholds the bodies of Palestinians slain during what it claims were attacks on its soldiers, police and civilians. Israel is holding the bodies of dozens of Palestinians, including nearly 70 who were killed by Israeli forces or died in its prisons and detention centers since Apr 2016. Bilal Adnan Rawajba is among those whose bodies are held by Israel, as is Akram Abu Waar, who died in Israeli detention in November. Imprisoned since 2003, Abu Waar was diagnosed with throat cancer last year and tested positive for COVID-19 in July. Another prisoner, Maher al-Akhras, was freed by Israel on Nov 26. Al-Akhras had suspended a 103-day hunger strike earlier in the month after Israel had agreed to release him when his administrative detention order expired. Al-Akhras had been held without charge or trial under an administrative detention order following his arrest on 27 July.

Meanwhile, cases of COVID-19 surged in the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly in Gaza, during November. Health authorities in the Strip warned that the medical system there was at a breaking point. The head of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, warned that the agency didn’t have enough funds to pay November salaries to its staff of 28k. UNRWA’s 13k employees in Gaza “will be the most affected,” according to UN OCHA. More than 13 years of a tightened economic blockade and closure imposed by Israel and repeated military assaults has left Gaza on the brink of economic collapse. Gaza has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world and more than half of its population lives below the poverty line, as noted in a new report by UN UNCTAD, which estimates that Israeli closures and attacks have cost Gaza’s economy $16.7b between 2007-2018. This estimate reflects only a partial cost of Israel’s occupation, as it doesn’t account for the economic impact of preventing the Palestinian people from using their natural gas field off the shores of Gaza, the report adds.

In the West Bank, Israel demolished at least 140 Palestinian-owned structures on the pretext that they were built without a permit during November. These include around 80 structures destroyed in Khirbet Humsa, where 73 people, more than half of them children, were displaced on Nov 3. B’Tselem stated:

With a month left before the end of the year, Israel has demolished the homes of more than 900 Palestinians in 2020.

Israel destroyed the homes of 677 Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, last year.

Palestinians sit on the rubble of a house demolished by the Israeli army in Nablus on Nov 2. The military says
it demolished a home belonging to the family of Khalil Dweikat, a Palestinian in Israeli custody
after allegedly stabbing and killing a rabbi in central Israel in August. Dweikat’s brother told
Israeli media that Khalil had severe psychological problems. “We will act to destroy
the terrorist’s home and administer the most severe punishment,” Netanyahu vowed
after the fatal incident. Photo: Shadi Jarar’ah/APA

Palestinians in Gaza City take part in a hunger strike in solidarity with Maher al-Akhras, who was
on a lengthy hunger strike to protest his detention without charge or trial by Israel, Nov 3.
Photo: Mohammed Salem/APA

Abd’al-Raouf Qedan, newly released after serving a 16-year sentence in Israeli prisons, marks the last day
of his imprisonment on a calendar made by his father who was counting down the days until his son’s release,
Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Nov 6. Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA

The aftermath in Khirbet Humsa, a Bedouin community in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley,
after dozens of structures were razed by Israeli forces days earlier, Nov 6.
Photo: Oren Ziv/ActiveStills

Employees of the Gaza City municipality protest to demand payment of their salaries, Nov 8.
Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA

Palestinians hold pictures of their missing relatives during a protest in front of the Gaza City offices of UNSCO,
Nov 8 November. On Nov 3 2016, some 240 people, among them migrants from Gaza, went missing after two
migrant boats capsized off the coast of Libya. Nearly 5k people are estimated to have died while
trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea that year. Photo: Mohammed Salem/APA

A banner showing Yasser Arafat is displayed during a celebration marking the 16th anniversary of the
Palestinian leader’s death in Ramallah, Nov 11. Photo: Hadi Sabarna/APA

Palestinians mourn during the funeral of Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jericho,
Nov 11. Erekat died one day earlier due to complications from the coronavirus at the age of 65.
Photo: Shadi Jarar’ah/APA

Fighters belonging to Islamic Jihad rally in Gaza City to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Israel’s
assassination of its military leader Baha Abu al-Ata, Nov 12. Thirty-four Palestinians were killed
in the 48 hours of fighting across the Gaza-Israeli boundary following the assassination
of Abu al-Ata last year. Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun/ActiveStills

A protester returns a tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces during confrontations following a weekly
demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near Nablus,
Nov 13. Photo: Ayman Nobani/WAFA

A Palestinian girl plays near a dump in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Nov 15.
Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA

Palestinians mark the first anniversary of the massacre of the al-Sawarka family in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza Strip,
Nov 19. Eight members of the family, five of them children, were killed when Israel targeted their home
in an airstrike. A ninth member of the family died days later. Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA

Palestinians stand on a major road with flags, disrupting the movement of Israeli settlers, during a protest
against a new settlement outpost near Ein Samia, central West Bank, Nov 20.
Photo: Keren Manor/ActiveStills

Israeli occupation forces use tear gas, sponge bullets and stun grenades to disperse around 150
Palestinian and Israeli activists protesting against an illegal settlement outpost near Ein Samia
in the central West Bank, Nov 20. Photo: Oren Ziv/ActiveStills

Palestinian girls compete during a boxing tournament in Gaza City, Nov 20.
Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA

Palestinians compete in a camel race at the site of the former international airport in Rafah, southern Gaza,
Nov 20. Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA

Activists block the entrance to a quarry operated by Heidelberg Cement in the occupied West Bank, halting production
at the site, Nov 22. Heidelberg Cement is a German construction giant that operates West Bank stone quarries
without Palestinian permission. Most of the quarried products are used by Israel’s construction industry,
including for settlements built in violation of international law. Photo: Oren Ziv/ActiveStills

A Palestinian man inspects the damage at the site of an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis, Nov 22.
A rocket was fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip the previous evening, the army said, shortly after
warning sirens sounded in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA

Palestinians wait for permits to travel from Gaza into Egypt via Rafah crossing, partially opened
during coronavirus-related restrictions, Nov 24. Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA

An Israeli soldier removes a Palestinian flag from a military jeep during a protest against settlements
in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley, Nov 24. Photo: Oday Daibes/APA

Palestinians weave carpets at a Gaza City workshop, Nov 26.
Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA

A Palestinian worker tries to unclog a drain on a flooded Gaza City street following heavy rains, Nov 26.
Photo: Osama Baba/APA

Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner-general of UNRWA, holds a press conference in Gaza City during which
he stated the agency lacks funds to pay employees’ November salaries, Nov 26.
Photo: Ramadan Al-Agha/APA

Maher al-Akhras is treated at al-Najah hospital in the West Bank city of Nablus after being released from prison
following a 103-day hunger strike, Nov 26. Al-Akhras had suspended his protest earlier in the month
after Israel agreed to release him on the date that his administrative detention order expired.
Israel detains Palestinians without charge or trial under indefinitely renewable administrative
detention orders issued by military courts. Photo: Shadi Jarar’ah/APA

Palestinians perform Friday prayers at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Nov 27.
Photo: Abd’al-Rahman Alami/APA

A Palestinian farmer harvests strawberries in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, Nov 28.
Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA

A man walks along a deserted market street as Palestinian authorities have announced a lockdown
on weekends to curb the spread of the coronavirus in West Bank city of Nablus, Nov 28.
Photo: Shadi Jarar’ah/APA

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas meets with Jordanian King Abdullah II in Aqaba, Jordan, Nov 28.
Photo: Thaer Ganaim/APA

Palestinian workers sterilize vegetables ordered by customers for home delivery amid concerns
about the spread of the coronavirus, central Gaza Strip, Nov 30. Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA

Palestinian university students plant peas near the boundary with Israel in eastern Khan Younis, Nov 30.
The students plan to use the money they will make from farming the peas to help with their
university fees and to help support their families. Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA

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