Palestinians extend coronavirus state of emergency to June 5

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has extended to June 5 a state of emergency declared in areas under his administration in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in response to the coronavirus crisis, the official news agency Wafa said on Tuesday.

First announced two months ago, the state of emergency heralded a full lockdown that confined Palestinians to their homes, except for essential travel. Border crossings with Israel and Jordan were closed.

But conditions were eased last month, with some businesses allowed to open in the hope of reviving the paralysed Palestinian economy. On Sunday, Abbas’s administration allowed tens of thousands of Palestinians labourers to resume jobs in Israel.

Mosques and educational institutions remain closed and Palestinian authorities are still banning public congregations.

The Palestinians have reported 345 coronavirus cases and two deaths in the West Bank, where some 3 million Palestinians live.


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