Israeli authorities have further tightened restrictions on Palestinians, with the latest measures targeting day laborers coming from the occupied West Bank, according to Israeli media.
The restrictions come as Israel reportedly seeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
However, mass movement restrictions are being used exclusively against Palestinians, who are forced to line up every day at Israeli checkpoints to obtain military permits to cross.
In a pre-dawn announcement today, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett ordered that only Palestinian workers in “essential” sectors such as “healthcare, agriculture, and construction” would be allowed entry.
🇵🇸#Palestine : Israeli occupation forces arrested number of Palestinian young men while sanitizing the public facilities in Silwan village in the occupied city of Jerusalem.#coronavirus #Corona #covid19 pic.twitter.com/LfEMsAmABl
— Shehab Agency (@ShehabAgencyEn) March 17, 2020
In addition, the report added, “Palestinians would no longer be allowed to travel back and forth from the West Bank to work sites, but would need to sleep in Israel, with the employer providing lodging.”
Palestinian government spokesman Ibrahim Milhem reported today 41 cases of COVID-19 among West Bank Palestinians – almost all in Bethlehem – and none in the Gaza Strip.
(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)