Forged Coronavirus Tests Likely to Wreak Havoc in Yerushalayim

YERUSHALAYIM -
An Israeli Magen David Adom emergency service at a coronavirus testing complex in Bnei Brak in April. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Residents from several east Yerushalayim neighborhoods have been able to obtain falsified medical records from the Palestinian Authority indicating they tested negative for COVID-19 despite being infected, Yisrael Hayom reported Thursday.

Several such cases have been detected in the Shuafat and Kafr Aqab neighborhoods. The fake records are used to issue permits allowing the individuals carrying them to avoid quarantine, and travel freely in Israel and abroad.

A senior east Yerushalayim health official told Yisrael Hayom, “This is a very serious matter. These residents might infect all of Yerushalayim. In order to stop the spread of the virus, the checkpoints need to be closed to prevent people from entering from the Palestinian Authority.”

It has been noted that many residents in these neighborhoods do not wear masks and ignore the Health Ministry’s social distancing directives. Most residents in the Arab neighborhood Abu Tor did not wear masks, and those who wore masks did so incorrectly. A similar situation was observed in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Yerushalayim, where a significant number of residents flout public health directives, effectively endangering all of the capital’s residents.

Meanwhile, Israelis were barred from entering Area B, which under the Oslo accords is under Palestinian civil control and Israeli military control, after many couples from the Arab sector have been using a loophole in the Health Ministry’s directives that allows them to hold large gatherings, such as weddings, by merely choosing a venue that borders the Green Line and the Palestinian territories.

Thus, Barta’a village has become a desired destination for young Arab-Israeli couples who hold their weddings in the village’s halls. Several open-air and indoor galleries have been set up in the Palestinian half of the town as well.

In response, the IDF Central Command has issued an interim order barring Israelis from entering Area B as part of the emergency regulations upheld during the national emergency declared over the coronavirus pandemic.