Palestinian Authority Imposes Curfew to Curb Pandemic

palestinian coronavirus
A Palestinian man working in Israel heads to work through an Israeli checkpoint near Hebron last Wednesday. (Reuters/Mussa Qawasma)

The Palestinian Authority has declared a curfew beginning Sunday night, in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh told reporters that “all citizens are barred from leaving their homes as of 10 p.m. tonight.” The measure is to be in effect for two weeks.

To enforce travel restrictions, the prime minister added that security forces would be deployed in cities and at their entrances.

Exception would be allowed, he said, for health facilities, pharmacies, bakeries and supermarkets.

Palestinian officials said that, as of Sunday, there were 59 confirmed cases of the virus in the PA-controlled areas of Yehuda and Shomron, 17 of whom have recovered.

Shtayyeh also said that all people returning from abroad would now be placed in quarantine facilities for 14 days near their hometowns.

PA government spokesman Ibrahim Milhem said on Sunday that Israel and the Palestinians were “coordinating at a high level to [keep the pandemic away] from us, them and the whole world.”