A Settlement for Separated Families, Disability in a War Zone, The New Speaker
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One of my first thoughts when I heard about Israel throttling internet and cell service in Palestine was how hard this would make things for blind people like me who rely more than the average person on digital and phone communication. Like the COVID-19 pandemic and many other disasters, Israel’s attacks have dramatically and disproportionately increased the vulnerability of disabled people. This Human Rights Watch report, published yesterday, surveys what challenges disabled Palestinians are currently facing, and tells several individual’ stories of evacuating before a bombardment using a wheelchair, fleaing the sound of bombs while deaf, or managing mental health symptoms with a blockade preventing medicine deliveries. One man describes trying to get out of his house after a bomb hit it; the challenge was that he lost both his legs in a previous Israeli bombardment. The report also discusses the rights of disabled people during armed conflict under international law. I’m grateful someone is paying attention to this aspect of the war. I hope it leads us to prayerful lament and more fervent advocacy for an immediate ceasefire.
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