A paramedic with Israel’s Magen David Adom medical service tests a man for COVID-19 at a drive-through site in Jabal Mukaber [Ahmad Gharabli/AFP]

As the highly contagious coronavirus continues to spread, Palestinian health officials in occupied East Jerusalem are warning the medical system will “collapse” if an outbreak occurs because of a shortage of resources and a lack of qualified staff.

Citing systematic Israeli neglect of Palestinians living in the holy city and with the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) banned from operating in the area, Palestinians in East Jerusalem say they have been left to fend for themselves.

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Walid Namour, the secretary-general of the Palestinian Hospitals Network in East Jerusalem and head of the Augusta Victoria hospital in the city, told Al

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