The Palestinian Authority announced it was prolonging a lockdown in the occupied West Bank for five days following a spike in coronavirus infections.
The lockdown, which began on Friday, will be extended until Sunday evening, Palestinian government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said on Tuesday.
Almost 5,000 people have tested positive for Covid-19 since the illness was first recorded in the West Bank and 17 have died, according to the Palestinian ministry of health, as reported by the official news agency WAFA.
A week ago those figures stood at 2,356 cases and five deaths.
— @palestinechron (@PalestineChron) July 7, 2020
The Palestinian Authority imposed a full West Bank lockdown after the first coronavirus cases were identified in early March, lifting it at the end of May.
Tens of thousands of West Bank Palestinians travel to work in Israel as day laborers.
Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Monday called on Israel to close crossings, saying a lack of Palestinian control over the access points was responsible for surging coronavirus cases.
Palestinian workers have faced decades of abuse and marginalisation by Israel, Arab regimes and the PA.
— Dave Lewis (@DaveLew16877738) August 23, 2019
“We are calling on Israel to close all the crossings and for Palestinians working in Israel to stay at their places of work and not return to the Palestinian territories,” Shtayyeh said.
With 475 cases today, the majority in the district of Hebron (Al-Khalil), the overall number reaches 5,567.
(Palestine Chronicle, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Social Media)