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Amid Health Crisis, PA Halts Import of Israeli Goods
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks in the United Nations Security Council in New York on February 11. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Amid Health Crisis, PA Halts Import of Israeli Goods

The Palestinian Authority has temporarily banned the import of Israeli goods for use in markets in the West Bank in a bid to curb the coronavirus outbreak. More than 220 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Palestinian territory, which has been on near-total lockdown for more than a month. Last week, PA President Mahmoud Abbas extended for an additional 30 days the state of emergency in the West Bank, whose border crossings with Israel were previously shuttered by Jerusalem. In the Gaza Strip, 12 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and nearly 2,000 others are presently quarantined in makeshift facilities. Over the weekend, a spokesman for the coastal enclave’s Hamas-run Health Ministry warned that its supply of coronavirus test kits would be “gone within days.” A World Health Organization official similarly raised alarm bells about the devastation that a major outbreak could cause in the blockaded territory. Last week, UN Secretary-General António Guterres hailed Israeli-Palestinian cooperation aimed at curbing the contagion despite the “the extreme division that exists politically between the two [sides].” Nickolay Mladenov, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East, subsequently noted that the joint effort was “a major factor in the containment achieved so far.”

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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