RAMALLAH, Monday, March 16, 2020 (WAFA) – The three Palestinian Arabic dailies continued today to focus on the deadly coronavirus pandemic and its repercussions locally, regionally and worldwide.
The main front page headline in al-Hayat al-Jadida said the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) ordered banks to freeze loan payments for the next four months due to the economic impact of the disease on the local population. The order could be extended if necessary.
It said people welcomed the PMA’s decision and analysts said it would help borrowers to pass this crisis with minimum losses.
Al-Ayyam daily said in its main front page story that there are signs of improvement on the health of 15 Palestinians infected with coronavirus in Bethlehem and tests on 218 others came out negative.
Al-Quds daily also had the same headline as al-Ayyam but said in another top front page story that Italy is the most affected by the disease in Europe and Spain and Iran have reported new deaths in the hundreds.
Al-Hayat al-Jadida said Palestinian security in Bethlehem sent a solidarity message to Italy from the Church of Nativity by sounding the church bells, lighting candles and raising the Palestinian and Italian flags.
Al-Ayyam also reported on the coronavirus in Europe and said the number of deaths due to the disease has exceeded the 6000 mark worldwide.
Al-Quds said the Islamic Waqf department has decided to close the doors to the mosques at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem and that prayers will be held only in the open yards.
The rise in coronavirus cases in Israel was also highlighted on the front page of the dailies, which also reported on the Israeli measures to stop the disease from spreading.
Al-Ayyam said, quoting Israeli media, that tens of thousands of Israelis are living in fear and anxiety and that 3000 possible patients have not been diagnosed.
The papers also said the Israeli president asked Blue/White party to form the next government.