Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90
Security forces loyal Hamas, wearing personal protective equipment as a precaution against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, wait at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 13, 2020, to inspect any travelers crossing into the enclave.

A 77-year old Arab woman with a prior chronic illness because the first person to die in Gaza from COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus.

Pachila Muhammad Abu Rida died Saturday at Al Aza Hospital near the Rafah Crossing after she contracted COVID-19.


She arrived in the enclave from Egypt on May 19, and had been isolated since her arrival, according to a report by Israel’s Channel 13 news team.

To date, 39 people in Gaza have been diagnosed with the virus.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.