PA official to Post: Only used Israeli items banned, trade continues

Number of confirmed coronavirus cases reaches 260

A Palestinian vendor sells vegetables at a market in Gaza City (photo credit: ISMAIL ZAYDAH / REUTERS)
A Palestinian vendor sells vegetables at a market in Gaza City
(photo credit: ISMAIL ZAYDAH / REUTERS)
Six more Palestinians have tested positive for coronavirus, raising the number of patients to 260, the PA Health Ministry announced Tuesday.
One of the new confirmed cases was detected in the Gaza Strip.
The other five cases were detected in the West Bank villages of Biddu, al-Jadeera, Katanna north of Jerusalem and Deir Jarir, east of Ramallah, said Kamal al-Shakhrah, a senior official with the PA Health Ministry.
One of the patients diagnosed with the disease is a one-year-old, he said, adding that all the patients were in stable condition. Twenty-four patients have recovered from the disease.
Shakhrah said that among those infected with the virus are 84 Palestinian workers in Israel. PA Health Ministry officials have been deployed at border crossings between the West Bank and Israel to conduct tests on workers returning to their homes. The workers have been instructed to remain in isolation in their homes to prevent the spread of the disease.
Since the outbreak of the virus last month, the PA has conducted 15,000 coronavirus tests, and there are no patients in intensive care units, Shakhrah said.
On Tuesday, PA security forces arrested a Palestinian from Hebron for bringing used furniture from Israel. Earlier this week, the PA National Economy Ministry banned Palestinians from bringing used material and furniture from Israel to curb the spread of the virus.
National Economy Minister Khaled al-Osaily told The Jerusalem Post that the ban does not include all goods imported from Israel, but only used items, including furniture, purchased by Palestinian merchants from Israelis.
“Our decision relates only to used goods,” Osaily clarified. “Some of these items may come from areas where the virus has spread, and that’s why we banned them. Today approximately 200 trucks loaded with Israeli goods entered our markets. Trade between us and Israel did not stop for one day. We continue to export to the Israeli market, and import from the Israeli market. We encourage both sides in this regard.”