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Teenager Turns Teacher After COVID Cancels Classes

Concerns over spreading the coronavirus have changed the ways we socialize, shop and study. The pandemic has forced countless school closures, leaving many students without a place to learn. VOA's Arash Arabasadi brings us a story of a Palestinian teenager using her time away from school to enlighten her neighbors.Produced by: Arash Arabasadi 

Jewish Settler Convicted in Arson Death of 3 Palestinians

Both Israelis and Palestinians were shocked when a Jewish settler threw a Molotov cocktail into a home in a Palestinian village in the West Bank, killing an 18-month-old toddler and his parents. Five years later, the attacker, Amiram Ben Uliel, was convicted in an Israeli court on three counts of murder. It is rare that Israeli citizens are convicted for attacks on Palestinians, as Linda Gradstein reports from Jerusalem. Camera: Ricki Rosen  Produced by: Mary Cieslak 

 Surge in Deaths Portends Widespread Coronavirus Outbreak in Yemen

A surge of deaths in Yemen has prompted aid groups to warn that the war-torn, impoverished nation may have far more than the 122 COVID-19 cases officially reported as of May 17.  Aid groups say hospitals are closing because health workers have no protective gear and people are dying because they cannot get treatment.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Istanbul with Naseh Shaker in Sana’a, Yemen.Videographer:  Naseh Shaker 

Coronavirus Highlights Arab Israeli’s Growing Role in Israeli Society

After seven weeks of lockdown, Israel’s coronavirus numbers, like those of many other countries, are looking better. On Monday, the country of nine million people had slightly more than 250 deaths and the number of new infections is dropping quickly. Unlike Israel’s other wars, where its army was at the forefront, this time it is the medical system that is leading the way and Arab Israelis are part of it. Arab citizens of Israel are prominent in medical fields and many say their role in this crisis could signal a change in Israeli society. Linda Gradstein reports for VOA from Jerusalem.

Egypt Announces Partial Opening as Economy Plunges Downward

For some Egyptians, the impact of the coronavirus shutdown has been more frightening than the virus itself, which has infected thousands and killed hundreds by early May. With businesses closed, the poor are getting poorer. Now, as Egypt is starting to slowly reopen, medical experts warn the nation can’t handle a larger outbreak. VOA’s Heather Murdock in Istanbul has this report with Hamada Elrasam in Cairo.

For Israeli and Palestinian Muslims, This Ramadan Is Different

The holy month of Ramadan is set to begin later this week for the world’s two billion Muslims. It is a month of fasting, family gatherings, and prayer in mosques. But all over the Muslim world, “shelter-in-place” orders will keep people at home. In Israel, the government is expected to announce a nightly curfew on Arab towns and East Jerusalem to keep people inside. Linda Gradstein reports for VOA from Jerusalem.

Christians in the Holy Land Prepare to Celebrate Easter

For the billions of Christians around the world it is Holy Week, the seven days spanning from Palm Sunday to Easter. Along with one third of the world under lockdown to try to stop the COVID virus, Christians in the Holy Land are preparing for a very different kind of holiday. Linda Gradstein reports for VOA from Jerusalem.

Religious Adherence Complicates Israel’s Coronavirus Concerns

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the head of the Mossad security force and other officials entered home quarantine after Israel’s health minister tested positive for COVID-19. The minister belongs to the country’s ultra-Orthodox community, which has resisted government bans on large gatherings and emerged as the epicenter of the coronavirus in Israel. Linda Gradstein reports for VOA from Jerusalem.

Islamic State Trials Suspended ahead of Prison Riot in Syria

Tensions are soaring in Syrian prisons as the prospect of trials for accused Islamic State militants has been sidelined by the coronavirus threat. Officials say a prison riot over the weekend was contained and no one escaped. But they warn that prisons in northeastern Syria will remain a “ticking bomb” without international support. VOA’s Heather Murdock has this report from a recent trip to Hasseka, Syria.

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