Photo Credit: Andrew McIntire/TPS
Erez Crossing, on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, the entrance point from Gaza into Israel. Gaza, Jul 12, 2015.

The IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) delivered 200 testing kits for detecting Coronavirus, another step Israel has taken to help the Palestinian Authority (PA) combat the spread of the virus.

Acting on a directive by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, the kits were passed into Gaza on Friday through the Erez Crossing.


“This is part of a series of efforts that the unit has been promoting over the past month to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in the Palestinian Authority and to prevent its outbreak in the Gaza Strip,” COGAT stated.

COGAT head General Kamil Abu Rukon said that “viruses and diseases have no boundaries – and therefore preventing the spread of the Coronavirus in the Gaza Strip and eradicating its outbreak in the Judea and Samaria area are of prime Israeli interest. An outbreak of this kind could jeopardize the health of the people of Israel.”

COGAT and the Israeli Ministry of Health will continue their efforts to assist the PA in curbing the spread of the virus, “out of an Israeli interest and humanitarian thinking,” the unit added.

On Wednesday, COGAT delivered 20 tons of disinfectants from Israeli factories to the PA, including chlorine and hydrogen peroxide, to be used for disinfection, hygiene and sanitation purposes.

The PA’s Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs ordered on Saturday the closure of mosques and churches, as part of ongoing efforts to curb the spread of novel COVID-19, which has so far affected 38 people in the PA.

“This global epidemic is seemingly growing and puts the lives of millions of people at danger. The instructions of the World Health Organization and the medical specialists are based on studies and precautions, and violating these instructions might cause calamities, ordeals and deaths,” the ministry said in a press release.


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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.