Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said today that the real weakness in the Palestinian battle against the spread of coronavirus is the Israeli occupation, settlements, checkpoints, “and all its policies that attempt to thwart our efforts to protect our people.”
He stressed in a statement after 15 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed today among Palestinians working in Israeli factories that “the Palestinian workers’ continued movement, with Israeli facilitation, between their cities, villages, and workplaces, whether inside the green line or in the settlements, is a blow to our early efforts to stop the spread of this pandemic.”
He said that “Israel’s decision to allow the entry of workers is an attempt to protect the Israeli economy at the expense of the lives of our workers. Israel’s economy is not as precious as the lives of our children.”
Shtayyeh said that the Palestinian Authority worked from day one of the coronavirus disease “with high professional standards and swift measures. We first managed to control the COVID-19 outbreak in Bethlehem completely. We also succeeded in controlling the spread possibilities among travelers, through close coordination with Jordan and Egypt, by closing the border crossings, and screening and quarantining all the travelers with and without symptoms. This made us keep a slow pace in the number of cases.”
“The credit goes to our national efforts. The harmony between the leadership’s decisions and popular response, also the dedication of the State of Palestine employees, is the reason why we have been able to control this situation,” he said, adding that Palestine is coordinating with different international parties, including the World Health Organization that follows up daily with the Ministry of Health and, in turn, has praised the preventive actions of the State of Palestine.
“We don’t accept Israeli guardianship over our measures. What is required is for Israel to leave us alone,” he insisted.