Bennett closes Bethlehem over Coronavirus outbreak

Defense Minister bans Israels, PA Arabs from entering, leaving Bethlehem after 7 cases of Coronavirus discovered in the city.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem
Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem
Esti Dzubov/TPS

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett ordered the closure of Bethlehem Thursday night over concerns of the Corovarirus in the city.

Under the order, movement of Israelis and Palestinian Arabs into and out of the city is prohibited. The minister's decision was made in light of the identification of several cases of Coronavirus infection in the Bethlehem area, and after consultation with the National Security Office and the Goordinator of Government Activity in the Territories (COGAT), Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukon.

The closure will take effect from this evening until next Thursday evening.

Earlier today, seven Coronavirus patients were discovered in Bethlehem, and the PA declared an emergency. As part of the emergency, there will be no schools, meetings will be avoided and foreign nationals will not be allowed to stay in hotels.

17 Israeli citizens have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus so far. The latest patient is a pensioner from the center of the country who returned from Italy on February 29. The patient drove from the airport to his home in his private vehicle, arrived at his home and went into immediate isolation.

He was on a flight from Venice to Tel Aviv by EasyJet, flight number EJ3342 which departed at 12:20 PM

Anyone who was on this flight is asked to enter home isolation as directed by the Health Ministry and report it on the Health Ministry website or the Health Ministry hotline at *5400.

If during the isolation symptoms of fever or cough or difficulty in breathing appear, call the Magen David Adom hotline 101 to find out the need for virus testing.