Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has extended the state of emergency for a third consecutive month as a result of the coronavirus crisis, Wafa news agency has reported. However, movement between cities in the Israeli-occupied West Bank will be eased and steps will be taken to reopen shops and other businesses, Abbas added.
PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced the state of emergency two months ago when he closed schools and universities; cancelled all hotel reservations and conferences; shuttered tourist and religious sites; and banned public gatherings and protests. Border crossings with Israel and Jordan were also closed.
According to Wafa, eight new coronavirus cases were confirmed last night, raising the total number of people who have tested positive in the occupied Palestinian territories to 532. Four people have died from the virus, two in Jerusalem and two in the West Bank. The new cases were identified as three Palestinian workers who work inside Israel and five others who came into contact with them.
Last month, the PA allowed tens of thousands of Palestinians labourers to return to their jobs in Israel following the easing of lockdown conditions. Some businesses were also allowed to open in the hope of reviving the paralysed Palestinian economy.