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Palestinians in West Bank must stay at home: Palestine PM

A picture take on March 22, 2020, shows police barriers on the side of a street in a neighbourhood in Gaza City.

The Palestinian government on Sunday, March 22, issued an order confining Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank to their homes for two weeks as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus.

The order, announced by Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on television, goes into force at 10 p.m. (2000GMT). Medical personnel, pharmacists, grocers and bakers would be exempt, he said.

"Firstly, it is forbidden for citizens to move between governorates at all. Secondly, it is forbidden for our people in villages and refugee camps to come to the downtown of our cities except for urgent and medical matters. Thirdly, no citizens are not allowed to leave their homes, as part of home-confinement, as of 22:00 (20:00 GMT) tonight, 22nd of March, except for medical centres and their workers. Workers in these areas should show their work cards: pharmacies, bakeries, and grocery stores," Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said. 

"All citizens who return from abroad should be in quarantine for 14 days in centres in their cities. Fifth, banks will work in emergency situation, bank employees should show their work cards. Sixth, Palestinian workers are not allowed to go to settlements at all. Seventh, we request Israel to provide human conditions for workers who sleep in their workplaces (in Israel)," he added. 

Last week, Shtayyeh asked the some 25,000 Palestinians who work in settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank - areas Israel captured in a 1967 war - to stay home as part of efforts to reduce transmission.

Israeli authorities said that due to the health crisis, Palestinians with work permits, who typically return home to the West Bank daily, will be allowed to stay in Israel for up to two months, depending on the nature of their work. 

The Palestinian health ministry lists 59 confirmed coronavirus cases in the occupied West Bank.

(Source: Reuters) 

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