Abbas extends state of emergency over coronavirus

PA chairman extends state of emergency for another 30 days due to spread of COVID-19.

Elad Benari ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday extended the state of emergency for another 30 days due to the spread of the coronavirus, Kan News reported.

The move came after cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh recommended to Abbas that the state of emergency be extended to enable the health and security services to control the spread of COVID-19, according to the PA’s official news agency Wafa.

In the daily report presented to Abbas, Shtayyeh explained that "We still maintain a high degree of control over the spread of this pandemic, but we must raise the level of our procedures to contain the return of workers from Israel and the [Israeli] colonies to their homes as thousands of cases are being recorded in Israel."

Meanwhile on Thursday, the number of cases of coronavirus in the PA rose to 161. The PA recorded new cases over the past few days after not recording new cases for two consecutive days at the start of the week.

Abbas initially announced a month-long state of emergency after the first seven cases of coronavirus were identified in Bethlehem. Since then, cases were identified in other PA-controlled cities as well.

Cases of the virus have also been identified in Hamas-controlled Gaza.