The coronavirus pandemic has inspired stories of unprecedented Israeli-Palestinian cooperation. But the picture is far from perfect, and things look especially stark in Jerusalem. Unlike the West Bank, Israel has formally annexed East Jerusalem. More to the point, it claims the entire city as its united and indivisible capital (with emphasis on the united and indivisible part). Actual events on the ground are turning that position on its head.

On Tuesday night, Israeli police shuttered a coronavirus testing clinic in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on the basis that it was run by the Palestinian Authority. When the story broke earlier this week, the Public Security Ministry related to Haaretz that the PA is barred from working on Israeli territory unless otherwise noted by the appropriate officials.

On the surface, it may sound reasonable to Israeli ears to not want the Palestinian Authority setting up parallel institutions on Israeli-controlled territory. The concept of a united and indivisible capital probably doesn’t conjure up images of barriers and walls, nor is it compatible with some kind of overlapping sovereignty. But the line between where Israel claims sovereignty and where it does not is often blurred over the Green Line, and this is very much the case in East Jerusalem.

Indeed, what is most curious about the raid on the Silwan testing clinic is that it comes just weeks after PA security forces made a rare appearance, with Israel’s OK, in the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kufr Aqb in order to help enforce the coronavirus lockdown. If Israel is going to make the case that the PA cannot operate in any part of Jerusalem, then  surely the entry of armed policemen into the city is far more intrusive than the operation of a solitary medical clinic. It’s not as though an exception can’t be made.

The fact is, neither PA “incursion” into Jerusalem would have really been felt by residents of the city’s predominantly Jewish western neighborhoods. Annexed to Jerusalem after 1967, Kufr Aqb lies east of the Israel-West Bank barrier and is physically disconnected from the city; the area is actually slated to be part of a Palestinian capital under the Trump administration’s Peace to Prosperity plan. Israeli municipal services and law enforcement are hard to come by, but the PA is still normally barred from Kufr Aqb under most circumstances because it is part of the city of Jerusalem. The area represents an ugly inversion of an equally distressing situation in Wadi Hummus, a village zoned as part of the West Bank’s Area A (nominal full PA control) located on the Israeli side of the barrier.

In the case of the Silwan clinic, the Palestinian Authority provided funding for the testing kits, and samples would be evaluated at West Bank sites. This marks the extent of the PA presence at the makeshift clinic, which was operated out of an East Jerusalem mosque.

Joint List Member of Knesset Ofer Cassif called for the authorities to either allow the site to function or substitute it with Israeli services. While the Magen David Adom does operate a drive-thru site in East Jerusalem, the official Israeli Health Ministry map reports just three coronavirus exposures in East Jerusalem (not counting Jewish settlements); that includes one in Silwan, home to over 30,000 people, and zero in Kufr Aqb, with a population of over 100,000. These are impossibly low figures suggestive of a lack of adequate testing facilities. Meanwhile, a slew of cases suddenly appear on the map just west of the Green Line. This only reinforces the likelihood that many cases are going undetected; after all, in the heart of Jerusalem, there is no invisible obstacle stopping the spread of disease from west to east.

It would be one thing if the PA were stepping on the toes of a concerted Israeli campaign to combat coronavirus in East Jerusalem, but no such endeavor has been undertaken. The Silwan clinic was a small complement to a woefully underserved effort. East Jerusalem hospitals, which lost American governmental support two years ago (the $5 million released this week is a token amount representing a tiny fraction of what the U.S. once provided), are raising the alarm about a possible spike in coronavirus cases in the city’s underdeveloped and crowded Palestinian neighborhoods. It was only after the Israeli Supreme Court heard a petition from the rights group Adalah that the state health agency Clalit announced the opening of testing sites in Shuafat, Kufr Aqb, and Silwan.

Israel asserts that all of the expanded Jerusalem municipality is its sovereign territory, and that the Palestinian Authority is unwelcome there. If this is to be Israel’s approach, then it should treat the residents of the entire city accordingly, because coronavirus is exposing that in modern times, Jerusalem has never truly been united.