Palestinian workers entering Israel required to stay for 3 weeks due to outbreak

Most Palestinian workers arriving in Israel from the West Bank will need to remain in Israel for over two weeks in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) says.

“These measures aim to diminish movement between regions and curb the spread of the virus,” the military liaison to the Palestinians writes in a statement on its Arabic-language Facebook page.

Palestinian workers enter Israel through the Mitar checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron, on May 3, 2020. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Crossings for Palestinians into Israel will open on Sunday, June 28, to allow entry “in a concentrated manner.” Afterwards, workers will be barred from entering Israel from the West Bank until further notice. Workers will be permitted to return to the West Bank on July 16.

Health care workers, as well as workers with jobs in Atarot, an industrial area north of Jerusalem, will be permitted to enter and leave on a daily basis.

About 70,000 Palestinians are legally employed in Israel, according to labor rights group Kav l’Oved. An additional 30,000 are employed in Israeli settlements.

Many workers move back and forth between Israel and the West Bank on a daily basis. In March, the Supreme Court ruled that Israeli employers must provide adequate sleeping facilities to Palestinian workers to allow them to comply with the pandemic-related restrictions on movement.

— Aaron Boxerman

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