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Arab Israelis banned from visiting the occupied West Bank

November 12, 2020 at 5:31 pm

Security forces set up a checkpoint in the streets to warn citizens not to go out after a curfew was announced by authorities as a measure against coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ramallah, West Bank on March 23, 2020. [İssam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]

Israelis are banned from entering the occupied West Bank, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Israel’s Defence Ministry issued the order which limits Arab Israeli citizens from entering Area B of the occupied West Bank, an area which according to the Oslo Accords is under Palestinian civil control and Israeli military control.

According to Ynet news, the ban aims to avoid Arab citizens of Israel from travelling to the West Bank to attend weddings of their relatives.

“Immediate moves must be taken to halt and avoid the spread of the pandemic,” the order stated yesterday, and will remain in place for a month.

Report: Over 130 Palestinian prisoners infected with coronavirus in Israel prisons

The second national lockdown in early October saw only seven per cent of Arab Israelis infected with the virus however, the number of infections has again increased dramatically, even as testing across the country has fallen, reported the Times of Israel.

Currently, almost 38 per cent of all coronavirus infections currently are in Arab cities and towns, the Arab Emergency Commission reported on Monday.

The number of death cases reached 2,700, with 8,105 active cases, the Ministry of Health said. While in the occupied West Bank, there are 4,706 active cases and 569 deaths, and in Gaza 3,052 active cases and 43 deaths.

Despite Israel’s high number of coronavirus cases, the country is relaxing its quarantine restrictions.