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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

Give the Gift of Trusted News!

Dear friends,

The Media Line is always there to report to you the stories and issues of the Middle East – completely and in context: TML is the source you can trust.

Know The Media Line to Know The Middle East!

Please support our ad-free, nonprofit news agency. Our seasoned journalists reporting from the Middle East are working day and night during these challenging, yet defining times; and our student interns are honing their knowledge and skills, preparing to emerge as tomorrow’s journalists.

You rely on us and we’re relying on you! Make your online tax-deductible donation here and contact us regarding donations through appreciated stock, donor advised funds, qualifying IRA distributions and other charitable instruments.

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
 
Felice Friedson
Founder, President

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