Palestinian Authority ends West Bank COVID-19 lockdown

A Palestinian man wearing a protective face mask shops during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in the West Bank City of Nablus on May 09, 2020. (Photo: Shadi Jarar'ah/APA Images)
A Palestinian man wearing a protective face mask shops during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in the West Bank city of Nablus on May 9, 2020. (Photo: Shadi Jarar’ah / APA Images)
Health protocols and regulations have largely not been enforced for the last month, but some restrictions will remain.

By Yumna Patel |  Mondoweiss | May 26, 2020

The announcement to reopen the country comes after a turbulent Eid weekend, filled with protests and violent interactions with Palestinian security forces in several cities across the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority officially declared an end to the coronavirus lockdown in the occupied West Bank on Monday, nearly three months after the first state of emergency was declared.

During a press conference in Ramallah, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh announced that the 3 million Palestinian residents of the West Bank could expect a return to normal life, albeit with some restrictions, once the current Eid holidays are over.

Banks, government ministries, courts, shops, and public transportation networks are set to reopen on Wednesday morning, while mosques and churches will be opened beginning at dawn prayers on Tuesday morning.

Shtayyeh credited a “sharp decline” in coronavirus cases across the occupied territories, with only 122 active cases — 38 in the Gaza Strip, 60 in the Jerusalem governorate, and 24 in Hebron — as the reason for the government’s decision to reopen.

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