Many fanatic illegal Israeli colonists invaded, on Sunday morning, the western area of Huwwara town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and caused damage to at least twenty cars, trucks and buses.
Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said the assailants hurled stones at more than twenty Palestinian cars and buses, causing excessive damage.
Daghlas added that the locals intercepted the invading colonists and started pushing them out of the village.
The colonists fired many live rounds at random and fled from the village; there have been no reports of injuries in the incident.
Municipality workers with protective suits disinfect churches as a precaution against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Ramallah, West Bank on 7 March 2020
The Palestinian Authority suspended prayers in mosques and churches in the occupied West Bank on Saturday to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, and Gaza’s Hamas rulers said all the enclave’s border crossings would be shut for travel, Reuters reports.
The Palestinian Authority’s Religious Affairs Ministry asked Palestinians to worship at home.
“In light of the Health Ministry’s recommendation to minimize contact between people and to reduce gatherings as much as possible we call upon our Muslim people in Palestine to hold their prayers at home,” a ministry statement said.
In Ramallah, a prayer leader reciting the Muslim call to prayer at one mosque in the early evening added the words: “Pray at home, pray at home.”
According to Palestinian health officials, 38 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the West Bank, where the Palestinians have limited self rule under the Palestinian Authority. None have been reported in the densely-populated Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Islamist Hamas group.
The Hamas-led government said it was closing Gaza’s border crossings with Israel and Egypt for travel, excluding life-threatening cases that required medical treatment outside the enclave. Gatherings would be limited to 100 people and schools were to remain shut through March.
Citing security reasons, Israel and Egypt keep the coastal Gaza Strip under a blockade with tight control of movements over their border land crossings.
Religious authorities have so far kept Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque, which is Islam’s third holiest site, open for prayers.
The Jordan-appointed council that oversees Islamic sites on Jerusalem’s sacred compound has kept it open for Friday prayers, encouraging faithful to congregate on the 35-acre complex’s outdoor grounds rather than inside its covered shrines.
The Waqf council reassured worshippers in a statement this week that the entire compound, including its golden Dome of the Rock shrine, was being “sterilised continuously.”
Muslim faithful believe the site to be where the Prophet Mohammad ascended to heaven. Jews revere it as the site of the Jewish temples of antiquity. It is one of the most sensitive venues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In Israel, where 164 coronavirus cases have been confirmed, gatherings have been limited to 100 people. Some religious authorities in the Holy Land, including the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, have moved to implement crowd controls at places of worship.
Muslim majority countries have introduced a range of measures to try to halt the infection.
Egypt will suspend schools and universities for two weeks starting on March 15. Among Gulf Arab states, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait taking the most drastic decisions by cancelling all international flights.
Attendance at Friday prayers is generally mandatory for able-bodied men in Islam, but Riyadh said those under quarantine and those afraid of being infected or infecting others need not attend.
Pakistan has shut its schools and land borders and decided to limit international flights and discourage large gatherings.
Palestinian workers disinfect places of worship as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus on 12 March 2020
Enclosed prayer places at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque have been shut in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus, the authority responsible for overseeing the city’s Islamic and Christian holy sites announced on Sunday, Anadolu Agency reports.
“The Islamic Waqf Department decided to close the enclosed prayer places as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, the director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, said in a statement.
“All prayers will be held in the [outdoor] courtyard and all doors will remain open to worshipers,” he said.
Al-Aqsa compound consists of several enclosed prayer places, including the Dome of the Rock mosque.
Palestinian detainee, Bilal Ekmail, has entered 15 years of imprisonment, under very strict detention conditions, imposed by Israeli authorities.
Montaser Sammour, director of the Jenin office of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) in northern West Bank, said that Ekmail is serving a 20-year prison sentence, and has been frequently held in solitary confinement, in addition to being deprived of family visits, over the past 15 years.
Detainees held under the arbitrary Administrative Detention orders are imprisoned without charges or trial, under so-called “secret files” that neither they nor their lawyers have access to.
Israel holds around 5,000 Palestinian detainees in various detention centers. This includes about 40 women and many juveniles.
Israeli soldiers installed, on Sunday evening, a military roadblock at the entrance of Kharrouba neighborhood, in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, before detaining many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.
Eyewitnesses said the soldiers stopped and searched dozens of cars and residents and were questioning many Palestinians.
They added that, although the soldiers did not abduct any Palestinian in this incident, they detained many of them for a few hours, before eventually allowing them to leave.
Israeli settlers, on Saturday, attacked Palestinian herders as they were grazing their livestock near the village of al-Mughayir, east of Ramallah city, in the central occupied West Bank, according to a local source.
Mayor of the village, Ameen Abu Alia, told Palestinian WAFA News Agency that illegal settlers chased the shepherds out of the pastures and attempted to steal some of the livestock.
Abu Alia said Israeli soldiers made no attempt to stop the colonial settlers, rather they provided them with cover and protection.
In related news, illegal colonists on Sunday invaded the Palestinian village of al-Janiya, west of Ramallah.
Israeli occupation forces, on Sunday, closed most of the doors of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of “precautionary measures against the Corona virus,” while allowing dozens of settlers to storm it.
According to the Palestine News Network, Israeli forces closed the gates of the sacred Mosque, to Palestinian worshipers, with the exception of three doors, which are Hatta, Majlis and Silsilah.
Illegal Israeli settlers were then allowed to storm the compound from the Mughrabi Gate, under the protection of the Israeli police.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is the third holiest site in Islam, many Palestinian muslims are unable to access the mosque, yet illegal Israeli settlers have the freedom to enter with absolute impunity.
A Palestinian young man suffered a shrapnel wound in his back, on Saturday, when the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired towards a peaceful group, marching in Kufur Qaddoum town, east of Qalqilia, a local official reported.
Morad Eshteiwi, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Colonies, said Israeli soldiers opened fire at the participants, injuring one Palestinian man in the back with shrapnel from live ammunition, Days of Palestine reported.
Red Crescent ambulance crew stabilized the injured man before transporting him to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus city, located east of the town.
In related news, on Friday, two Palestinians, including a journalist, were shot by Israeli occupation forces, while 17 others suffocated on tear-gas.
Ramallah (QNN) – The Palestinian government held an emergency session yesterday for a second reading of the public budget of the fiscal year 2020, in the aftermath of the ongoing crisis ignited by the outbreak of novel coronavirus.
The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said the Council of Ministers discussed the ongoing global economic recession created by the outbreak of the virus, and the resulting serious challenges facing the Palestinian public budget in its ability to achieve the local revenue assumptions through customs and tax duties.
The council also discussed all possible scenarios to deal with the impact of the global crisis in a manner that keeps the national economy as healthy as possible.
At the commencement of the session, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh stressed the need for a review of the government expenditure and rationalization of spending to cope up with the costs that may be incurred by the government in its precautions against the spread of the virus. He said the government was working to cordon off the geographical region where the virus has spread so far.
Minister of Finance, Shukri Bishara, presented a comprehensive outlook of the public budget and reviewed the multiple scenarios to deal with potential implications on the national economy.
Amid expectations of declining revenues and growing unemployment rates, driven by the financial and economic implications of the virus, Bishara underscored the importance of reinforcing development and investment plans as a way of preserving the share of the poor in the Palestinian public budget.
He also presented a plan to deal with the expected scenarios of the global pandemic and the financial costs associated with such confrontation.
Ramallah (QNN) – Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Sunday that 15 out of the 38 patients of novel COVID-19 (coronavirus) in in the West Bank are showing signs of recovery.
Speaking at a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office in Ramallah, Shtayyeh said these signs of recovery in the 15 patients do not mean they have fully recovered, but are rather an indicator that the measures taken so far are “in the right path”.
He said six of the other cases re-tested positive for the disease, with two cases described as moderate and one case described as critical, that is a German woman.
He said the 21 patients who were first tested positive for the virus will undergo two other health checks to make sure they have fully recovered.
“This is very reassuring, but nothing will change in the measures taken,” the Prime Minister said. He expressed thanks to the medical staff and security services for the strenuous efforts they have made since the outbreak of the disease to restrict its spread.