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Sunday, 17 January 2021

'Dear world: How is the lockdown?' -Gaza

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'Dear world: How is the lockdown?' -Gaza
'Dear world: How is the lockdown?' -Gaza

Gazans living in the blockaded coastal enclave take to social media as the international community lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Soraya Ali reports.

Dear world, how is the lockdown?

From Gaza.

This --- just one of a flurry of social media posts about coronavirus from the blockaded Gaza strip which has for years lived with enforced isolation and confinement.

The tiny coastal enclave is home to around two million Palestinians, over half of them refugees.

Its access to the outside world is controlled by Israel, along 90% of its land and sea boundaries, and Egypt on its narrow southern border.

The Israeli-led blockade has put restrictions on the movement of people and goods for years, amid security concerns following the takeover of Islamist militant group Hamas and subsequent wars.

The restrictions have contributed to crippling the economy and hiking unemployment for business owners like Youseef Sharaf (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) OWNER OF SHARAF METAL AND ELECTRICAL INDUSTRIES, YOUSSEF SHARAF, SAYING: "I am not working, there is nothing, no one is helping us at all.

We live under siege, we can't get material into (Gaza), we don't have electricity, there is no stable line, it is a tough situation.

What can I say?." Gazans have also made note of the irony in the situation.

The restrictions they oppose have contributed to slowing the entry of coronavirus.

So far, there are no reported cases in Gaza.

But for residents like Angham, it's a glimpse into their reality.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) COMPUTER ENGINEER, ANGHAM ABU ABED, SAYING: "Today and for the first time the whole world is forced to work from home because of the coronavirus, (while) we in the Gaza Strip have been doing this for years, because of the siege imposed on us."


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