Worse yet, Palestine has not received any large numbers of vaccines yet. Dieck says, “The Ministery of Health says they have some, but it’s only a limited number. I mean, in the West Bank you speak about three million people, in the Gaza strip you speak about 2 million. So about 5 million people [need vaccines]. People who were in their 20s and 30s, unfortunately, died because of COVID-19. It’s one of the saddest events ever, for someone alive today in the 21st century, to see all of this going on.”
The loss of tourism
Bethlehem thrived on tourism before the pandemic. “This is the petrol of Bethlehem,” says Dieck. “This is what makes Bethlehem actually alive.”
The lack of tourists for over a year has crushed many families economically. Dieck says, “That means families live on tourism, either if they are working in the hotel business, or tour guide agencies. You speak about at least thousands of families that are living because of tourism. Now, they don’t have any income. And what makes it complicated is if you are infected by COVID-19, this will cost lots of money for treatment.”
Ask God to comfort your Palestinian brothers and sisters. Pray they would show the hope of the risen Jesus during a difficult time. And pray Palestine would get access to large numbers of vaccines soon.