Photo Credit: Flash90
PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh chairs an emergency cabinet meeting, November 20, 2019.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced Thursday night that he plans to “shut down the country for one month” in his efforts to fight the coronavirus, which is the same period of time PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared earlier as an emergency, starting at 8:00 AM Friday, WAFA reported.

PM Shtayyeh, speaking on official PA TV, said that based on the powers granted to him by Abbas, he decided to shut down all educational facilities, all tourist and religious areas, and all national parks, and cancel all foreign tourists’ hotel reservations.

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All national and international conferences planned in the PA will be canceled as well.

Shtayyeh also stressed that movement between the PA cities should only be done “in cases of extreme necessity,” especially in the governorate of Bethlehem where the first seven cases of coronavirus have originated.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday ordered the closure of Bethlehem, and ordered the IDF and the PA to implement the closure, after seven residents of the city had tested positive for the coronavirus (see: Defense Minister Naftali Bennett Orders Closure of Bethlehem).

PM Shtayyeh also said he was studying the closing of all crossings between the PA and the rest of the world (that’s Israel and Jordan — DI) “as needed.”

All gatherings, celebrations, demonstrations and strikes have been prohibited throughout the PA and each local district governor was charged with employing security forces in implementing these decisions, WAFA reported, adding that media statements from any official except those authorized by the Prime Minister were also prohibited.

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