Palestinian Authority announces two-week closure throughout West Bank

The Palestinian Authority announces a two-week closure in the entire West Bank, as three weeks of tightening restrictions have failed to curb the coronavirus outbreak there.

The closure will not be as intense as some of the previous lockdowns, in which all stores were closed except for pharmacies and grocery stores. But all schools, universities, restaurants, barbershops, gyms and leisure venues in the West Bank will be closed starting today, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh says in a speech.

Any stores and government offices not closed by the official decree will have to work with no more than 30% of their normal staff, Shtayyeh says.

A nightly curfew already in place in the West Bank will be extended for another two weeks, beginning tonight, and Palestinians who work in Israel will not be allowed to reenter Palestinian-controlled areas, Shtayyeh says. He asks them to remain at their places of work throughout the two-week closure.

Shtayyeh promises that $13 million has been set aside to compensate workers for their losses in the coming lockdown.

— Aaron Boxerman