Palestinian Authority orders nightly, weekend coronavirus curfew

AFP , Sunday 12 Jul 2020

The Palestinian Authority on Sunday imposed a night-time and weekend curfew on the occupied West Bank for the coming 14 days to try and rein in rising coronavirus numbers.

"Travel will be prohibited daily from 8:00 pm (1700 GMT) to 6:00 am in all governorates," as well as from Thursday evening to Sunday morning, Palestinian government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem told a news conference.

In the addition to the general dawn-to-dusk curfew, major cities Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and Bethlehem, will be under total lockdown until Thursday evening, he said, while travel between districts will be banned for two weeks.

Only pharmacies and bakeries will be allowed to open.

"It is strictly forbidden to organise weddings, funerals and parties," said Melhem, adding that Palestinians were also barred from going to work in Israeli settlements.

The West Bank, occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six Day war, is home to over 2.8 million Palestinians with another 450,000 Israelis living fenced off from them in settlements.

In its daily report, the Palestinian health ministry said Sunday that there have so far been over 6,150 confirmed cases of COVID 19 infection, with 33 dead.

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.

It was reimposed on July 3 and since extended in light of the rising infection data.

In Israel, with a population of about nine million, the number of confirmed infections was given Sunday as more than 38,600 and just over 360 were reported dead.

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