Gaza mosques to reopen after coronavirus shutdown

Hamas authorities urge worshipers to abide by social distancing requirements when mosques reopen after being closed for three months.

Elad Benari ,

Mosque (illustrative)
Mosque (illustrative)
iStock

Hamas authorities announced on Monday that all mosques in Gaza will reopen on Wednesday after being closed for three months due to the coronavirus.

Abdul Hadi el-Agha, director general of the Hamas-run Ministry of Islamic properties said in statement quoted by the Xinhua news agency that all mosques will reopen for the daily five prayers on early Wednesday.

He called on participants to abide by the personal precautionary measures, namely wearing facemasks, keeping social distancing, and avoiding shaking hand.

The first cases of COVID-19 in Gaza were reported in late March. Before that, local authorities declared a new set of precautionary measures amid concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus in the coastal enclave.

Hamas had previously closed schools, mosques and wedding halls and banned large street gatherings to halt the spread of the virus, but did not impose a lockdown on Gaza’s two million residents, saying one was not necessary.

Gaza recorded its first death from COVID-19 last week, a 77-year-old woman from the district of Khan Yunis who had returned from Egypt the previous week.



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