Despite closure of areas under PA control, medical staff cross into Israel to work

Areas under PA control closed due to coronavirus but doctors, nurses allowed through to work in Israel's hospitals.

Arutz Sheva staff ,

Medical personnel - illustrative
Medical personnel - illustrative
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

On Monday, Reshet Bet revealed that despite the closure imposed on areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority, medical personnel from Bethlehem are still crossing the 1949 armistice line to reach their jobs in Israeli hospitals, and are even treating patients.

This is despite the announcement by Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett (Yamina) on Sunday that a closure would be imposed on all areas of the Palestinian Authority, due to ongoing efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus. The report cited three Jerusalem hospitals - Hadassah Ein Kerem, Hadassah Mount Scopus, and Shaare Zedek - who are said to have submitted special applications to hire workers from Bethlehem, and indeed received approval for their requests.

The closure has since been canceled.

The government department responsible for coordination of activities with the Palestinian Authority confirmed the report, stating that the three hospitals sought to have exceptions made to the closure, permitting entry into Israel of medical staff who are residents of Bethlehem, as their absence would have led to a deterioration in the quality of treatment provided. A government spokesperson emphasized that all those for whom entrance was permitted were screened for coronavirus and were found to be clear of any suspicion of contagion.

A spokesperson from Shaare Zedek Medical Center said that the hospital had requested the admission of three doctors and that there were currently no hospital employees who were in quarantine. Hadassah Medical Center denied the report, however, stating that none of its staff from Bethlehem had arrived at work since the closure was imposed. The spokesperson added that Hadassah was experiencing a shortage of manpower, mainly from the nursing sector, and that all the hospital's beds were full, despite the fact that they are not currently treating a single coronavirus patient.