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Hamas Confirms 2 New Coronavirus Diagnoses in Gaza, West Bank Cases Top 300
A street in Salfit, in the West Bank, is shown under lockdown on March 25. (Creative Commons)

Hamas Confirms 2 New Coronavirus Diagnoses in Gaza, West Bank Cases Top 300

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has announced two new cases of coronavirus, raising the total number of infections in the coastal enclave to 15. The latest people diagnosed reportedly had returned from abroad five days ago and tested positive while in a quarantine facility set up near the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. Nine of the Gazans who contracted COVID-19 have recovered, for the time being mollifying fears about the potential devastation that would be caused by a full-fledged outbreak in the densely packed, impoverished territory. Hamas on Sunday warned that it would hold Israel responsible for such an eventuality and urged Jerusalem to transfer additional medical equipment in a bid to contain the spread. According to Israeli media, Hamas’s leadership is reportedly keen on inking a prisoner exchange with the Jewish state due to deep concerns over a possible outbreak and has reportedly conditioned any accord on Israel’s transfer of medical supplies. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority has confirmed just over 300 cases of the illness in the West Bank. Two people have died. The PA and Israel have started easing some coronavirus-related restrictions on movement in an effort to jump-start their ailing economies.

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