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Reference : V-P-IL-E-03381
Date : 16/07/2020
Caption : Bethlehem. This city was the first in the West Bank to be hit by the COVID-19, which has destroyed its main pillar of economic activity, tourism. Nasri Obaidullah, a taxi driver, is pessimistic: “Life here has stopped with the suspension of tourism. We have been suffering from a lack of demand for taxi service for months, and we can barely meet our needs and those of our families, not to mention the costs of licensing and insuring the car.”
Photographer : JABR, Atta
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website, photo gallery, 06.10.2020
Hope and fear fill the West Bank’s silent markets

As a second wave of COVID-19 ravages the West Bank, the bustling old markets of its largest cities have fallen silent. In Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem and the Old City of Jerusalem, worried shopkeepers keep their empty stores open, clinched in a merciless double-bind: only by staying open do they stand a chance of rebuilding business, yet every day they open their doors they hemorrhage money.
A return to some kind of normalcy will depend on Palestinian authorities getting the virus under control. According to an International Committee of the Red Cross survey of Palestinians, compliance with prevention measures in the West Bank is significantly lower than in Gaza and East Jerusalem. In June, 28% reported that they still weren’t wearing masks, 22% said they weren’t avoiding crowded places and 21% weren’t staying home when feeling sick.
Clearly, there is work to be done—before the markets of the West Bank return to the hustle and bustle that used to characterize them, and small businesspeople can sleep easy once again.
Resolution : 6720x4480
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour