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Palestinian Authority Announces First Coronavirus Death

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March 25, 2020
RAMALLAH, WEST BANK – DECEMBER 15: An Israeli border policeman talks to a Palestinian paramedic on December 15, 2017 in Ramallah, West Bank. Today is the tenth day of clashes in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza following Donald Trump’s speech. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

On March 25, the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced a Palestinian died from the coronavirus, the first COVID-19 death in PA territory.

The Jerusalem Post reported the woman was in her 60s and lived in Biddo, which is south of Ramallah. A spokesperson for the PA said they are unsure how she contracted the virus, but speculated she may have gotten on it from her sons, who work in Israel. The woman’s daughter and son-in-law also are infected.

There are 64 Palestinian cases of COVID-19 in the West Bank. The PA is encouraging its citizens to not work in Israel and Israeli territory. There are 2,369 cases in Israel; 39 of whom are in critical condition. There have been five COVID-19 deaths in Israel.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) delivered 3,000 test kits and 50,000 masks to the PA; the World Health Organization (WHO) donated the kits and masks to COGAT, according to the Post.

“Once more, COGAT is cooperating closely with the World Health Organization to make assistance possible in the Palestinian Authority’s struggle against the coronavirus outbreak,” COGAT Major General Kamil Abu Rukun said in a statement. “I commend the teamwork of the international organizations in this important shared endeavor, I wish steady good health to all the residents of the region, and I hope that we will continue to work together in the fight to halt the spread of this dangerous virus.”

On March 18, the Israeli government and the PA established a joint operations room in working together to fight the coronavirus.

“We have been working with the Israeli authorities from day one to fight the virus,” a Palestinian health official told the Post. “Most of the measures we took in the Bethlehem area after the first cases were detected were done in full coordination with the Israeli authorities.”

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