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Israelis Banned From Area B of West Bank as COVID-19 Cases Spike Among Israeli Arabs

Israelis Banned From Area B of West Bank as COVID-19 Cases Spike Among Israeli Arabs

The latest COVID-19 information and statistics for the Middle East and North Africa

Israel on Thursday began enforcing a monthlong ban on citizens entering Area B of the region referred to by the international community as the West Bank and by the Israeli government as Judea and Samaria.

The order issued by the IDF Central Command under coronavirus emergency regulations is an attempt to slow down a rise in COVID-19 cases among Israeli Arabs, many of whom visit Palestinian areas of the West Bank, including Area B, which the 1995 Oslo II Accord stipulates as being under Palestinian Authority civilian control and Israeli security control.

Israelis are already banned from entering Area A, which is under Palestinian Authority civilian and security control. Area B comprises about 22% of the West Bank, and Area A, about 18%.

Israeli Arabs accounted for just 7% of the country’s coronavirus cases in early October. But since then, the number infections has risen dramatically, with around 38% of current coronavirus patients being from Israeli Arab cities and towns, the Arab Emergency Commission reported on Monday.

As of Friday morning, the total number of coronavirus cases in Israel stood at 322,159, with 2,706 deaths and 310,605 recoveries, according to Worldometer.

Pfizer Vaccine

Israel is in advanced talks with Pfizer Inc. over procuring doses of the US-based pharmaceutical giant’s coronavirus vaccine candidate that was recently found to have a 90% success rate in Phase III clinical trials.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was on the phone with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Wednesday and again on Thursday, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said that an agreement would be signed between Israel and Pfizer “in the coming days.”

Israeli officials also said that Pfizer was likely to earmark 3 million COVID-19 vaccines for Israel.

In June, Israel signed a contract with US biotech firm Moderna, which is also developing a coronavirus vaccine.

Moderna announced on Wednesday that its vaccine candidate could receive emergency use approval in December.

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers for the Middle East and North Africa as of 7:00 UTC on Friday.

CountryConfirmed casesDeathsRecoveredActive Cases
Afghanistan42,9231,59535,0366,292
Algeria65,1082,11142,98020,017
Bahrain84,19233281,8462,014
Cyprus6,646341,8824,730
Djibouti5,641615,50971
Egypt110,0956,417100,7602,918
Iran726,58540,121541,566144,898
Iraq511,80611,532439,22861,046
Israel322,1592,706310,6058,848
Jordan132,0861,5479,564120,975
Kuwait134,932830125,5938,509
Lebanon100,70377555,70644,222
Libya71,80498542,70328,116
Mauritania7,9001657,500235
Morocco276,8214,570226,04046,211
Oman119,4428,510224,916100,810
Pakistan352,2967,092321,56323,641
Palestinian Territories60,78454252,8617,381
Qatar135,132234132,1532,745
Saudi Arabia352,1605,605339,1147,441
Somalia4,3011073,330864
Sudan14,4011,1169,5353,750
Syria6,4863332,5583,595
Tunisia76,1062,15151,80722,148
Turkey404,89411,233346,79446,867
United Arab Emirates146,735523141,2154,997
Yemen2,0716051,39472
Total4,274,209111,8323,653,758723,413

Did you know we’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary as the 1st American News Agency exclusively covering the Middle East?

  • The Middle East landscape is changing rapidly.
  • The roads in the region open to new possibilities.
  • The Media Line continues to pave the way to a far greater understanding of the region’s land, people, policies and governments through our trusted, fact-based news.

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Please make your gift today as we have a most generous matching 2:1 grant.
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