As the numbers of individuals diagnosed with the novel coronavirus continues to rise, Israel further tightened restrictions on Palestinians entering the country for work, banning all except those who work in “essential” sectors.In an announcement on Tuesday morning, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said that following a security assessment only Palestinians working in healthcare, agriculture, construction would be allowed entry into Israel. However those who enter would not be allowed to travel back to the West Bank but would need to remain in Israel for the next few months, with the employer providing lodging.As of Tuesday morning there were 39 cases of the virus in the West Bank, two in Tulkarem and the rest in Bethlehem. Bennett last week ordered the IDF and the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) to impose a full closure on the city of Bethlehem in coordination with the Palestinian Authority. The closure on the city has been extended While there have been no cases reported yet in Gaza, the defense ministry said that the closure on the blockaded coastal enclave would continue until further notice. The Kerem Shalom crossing however will continue to work as usual, allowing for the continued transfer of goods into the impoverished Strip.