- Title: Lockdown in West Bank, crowds in Gaza; Palestinians divided over coronavirus
- Date: 9th April 2020
- Summary: HEBRON, WEST BANK (APRIL 7, 2020) (REUTERS) STREET BLOCKADED WITH BARRELS AND SECURITY TAPE GAZA CITY, GAZA (APRIL 7, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE IN MARKET VARIOUS OF MAN CHECKING VEGETABLES MAN SELLING FRUIT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN MARKET TRADER JAMAL ABU SHARKH SAYING: "The authorities make us feel calm because there are no coronavirus cases among people in Gaza, the infected ones are in quarantine as they come from abroad." PEOPLE AT MARKET POTATOES ON DISPLAY (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MAN SHOPPING AT MARKET, WAHIEB AL DAHOUK, SAYING: "You will not see (an empty market) until there is a curfew, this is the best way for the Arab world." VARIOUS OF PALESTINIAN POLICE ON MOTORBIKES AT GAZA BEACH (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HAMAS INTERIOR MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, EYAD AL-BOZOM, SAYING: "If we have to take a decision about imposing a curfew we will not hesitate and we have a plan ready for curfew to totally restrict movement in the Gaza Strip. Our plan is ready but we are taking the necessary decisions in accordance with our daily evaluation." TRAFFIC
- Embargoed: 23rd April 2020 09:58
- Keywords: Gaza Health Palestinians West Bank coronavirus crowds
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA / HEBRON, BEITUNIA AND ANIN, WEST BANK
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA / HEBRON, BEITUNIA AND ANIN, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Health/Medicine,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA002C8RSS3R
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Politics has shaped governments' responses to the coronavirus pandemic worldwide, but starkly in the occupied West Bank and Gaza where physical and political divisions in the two Palestinian areas have created two very different responses.
In the West Bank, which has 250 recorded cases, there was an early lockdown with Bethlehem sealed off after the first outbreak in March and a state of emergency declared.
But in Gaza there have been few restrictions on movement homes, and markets stayed open.
Forty kilometres apart and separated by Israel, the West Bank and Gaza have no direct link between them.
Gaza has been under the control of the Islamist militant group Hamas, with only 13 reported cases, all of which were at a quarantine facility at the Egyptian border, Hamas says health conditions make a full lockdown unnecessary in Gaza, but it has closed schools, mosques and wedding halls and banned large street gatherings.
Images of crowds on beaches last weekend provoked criticism on social media, prompting Hamas to deploy police along the coast urging people not to gather.
Some flout the rules, including Palestinian labourers in Israel who angered the authorities after reports they sneaking back into the West Bank, bypassing Israel's military barrier and Palestinian health officials.
(Production: Mohammad Shana, Abed Shana, Arafat Barbakh, Mohammad Salem, Yosri Aljamal, Saed Hawari, Raneen Sawafta, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
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