- Title: Isolation a double-edged sword for West Bank's Bedouin herders
- Date: 6th April 2020
- Summary: JORDAN VALLEY, WEST BANK (APRIL 4, 2020) (REUTERS) SUNRISE OVER BEDOUIN COMMUNITY TOP SHOT OF BEDOUIN COMMUNITY VARIOUS OF BEDOUIN WOMAN BAKING BREAD AL UBEIDIYA, WEST BANK (APRIL 3, 2020) (REUTERS) PALESTINIAN BEDOUIN, SALAMEH SAFI, HERDING FLOCK OF SHEEP VARIOUS OF SHEEP BEDOUINS NEAR TENT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN BEDOUIN, SALAMEH SAFI, SAYING: "Because of the coronavirus we have been asked to stay away from cities, from people, not join gatherings and not to go and work in Israel. This is what scares us but this is why Bedouin lifestyle is better than the cities." JORDAN VALLEY, WEST BANK (APRIL 4, 2020) (REUTERS) GIRL WALKING IN FRONT OF LIVESTOCK LIVESTOCK GRAZING VARIOUS OF BEDOUIN MAN WEARING FACE MASK AND LOOKING AFTER LIVESTOCK WOMAN WEARING GLOVES MILKING SHEEP (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN BEDOUIN, MOHAMMAD ISHAC, SAYING: "Our losses will be great because the farming sector has taken a hit. We used to sell (our food products) in the cities, now we are trying to contact residents to sell our products but there is a lockdown." VARIOUS OF BEDOUIN AND WIFE MAKING CHEESE AND YOGHURT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN BEDOUIN, SULIAMAN ALZAYED, SAYING: "The markets for yogurt and cheese are closed. We can't sell our cheese or yogurt and we have a lot in stock. We are outside the city of Jericho which is on lockdown, and we can't reach Ramallah or any other city to sell our products." AL UBEIDIYA, WEST BANK (APRIL 3, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BEDOUIN COMMUNITIES BETWEEN HILLS
- Embargoed: 20th April 2020 11:28
- Keywords: Bedouins Coronavirus Health Jordan Valley Palestinians West Bank
- Location: AL UBEIDIYA AND JORDAN VALLEY, WEST BANK
- City: AL UBEIDIYA AND JORDAN VALLEY, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001C8CTLXX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Bedouin herders in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, already isolated by virtue of their nomadic lifestyle, have become more cut off than ever from ordinary Palestinian life since the coronavirus outbreak began.
That isolation is a double-edged sword. They say their mobility makes them less vulnerable to catching the infection, but a territory-wide lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the disease means they are no longer able to sell their farm produce in local villages.
Some 30,000 Palestinians live in the pastoral encampments scattered across the West Bank, where sheep are herded along uninhabited hills and rocky valleys.
They have largely been spared the restrictions imposed in towns and villages, where 240 cases of COVID-19 and one fatality have been documented.
"This is why the Bedouin lifestyle is better than the cities," said Salameh Safi, 75, a shepherd on a donkey tending his flock near Bethlehem and sporting a red-and-white keffiyeh to shield his eyes from the early spring sun.
But Mohammad Ishak, 53, a Bedouin near Jericho in the Jordan Valley, said he could no longer gain access to nearby communities to sell cheese and other sheep products.
"We will suffer losses because the farming sector has taken a hit," he said.
Ali Abed Rabbo, general director of preventive medicine at the Palestinian Health Ministry, told Reuters the herders' lifestyle might put them at an advantage in terms of not catching the virus - "but on condition none of them mixes with residents of the cities and the villages."
(Production: Mohammad Abu Ganeyeh, Adel Abu Nemeh, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh, Rami Ayyub)
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