RAMALLAH, Monday, March 23, 2020 (WAFA) – The new measures declared yesterday by Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh to stop the novel coronavirus pandemic in Palestine were highlighted on the front page of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies today.
They said highlighted the six new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Palestine yesterday - four in the West Bank and two in Gaza, which brings the total to 59.
Almost all the stories on the front page of the three dailies – al-Quds, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida – were on the battle and impact of the disease at home, at the neighboring countries and throughout the world.
Al-Quds said that the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem has temporarily closed Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest sites, for worshippers as part of its effort to prevent gathering of people. The compound, however, will remain open for Waqf staff and the five-times-a-day call for prayer will continue from the mosque’s loudspeakers.
Al-Hayat al-Jadida said celebrations of the Muslim holiday, Isra wal Miraj, or the one-night journey of Prophet Mohammad from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascension to heaven, were muzzled with the closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque to worshippers and the fear of coronavirus.
It said the discovery to the first two cases of coronavirus in Gaza of men returning from abroad has raised serious concerns in the blockaded and impoverished Gaza Strip.
Al-Ayyam said that at orders from the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) the banks will stop receiving clients for the next two weeks even though they will remain open with shortened hours and reduced staff. The PMA has also suspended the work of the stock market.
It also said that Israel has transferred 120 million Israeli shekels (app. $32 million) to the Palestinian treasury to help it overcome the coronavirus disease. The transferred amount came from around one billion shekels ($270 million) of Palestinian tax revenues Israel has been withholding for over a year.