As coronavirus cases have been increasing in the Palestinian-ruled areas of the West Bank, President Mahmud Abbas reportedly renewed the lockdown measures for one more month. According to an international media outlet, the lockdown will now last until at least June 5.
While speaking about the eased restrictions, Abbas reportedly announced that the movement between cities in the Israeli-occupied territory will be eased and more steps will be taken towards opening shops and other businesses. However, he also said that the measures won’t be applying to the Gaza Strip, which is another part of the Palestinian Territories which is run by the rival Hamas-led government. Although, as per reports, the restrictions have already been eased in the region.
Currently, the Palestinian-ruled areas of the West Bank currently have nearly 345 confirmed coronavirus cases and the deadly virus has claimed nearly two deaths in the region. Meanwhile, as Israel has more than 15,000 confirmed cases, the Palestinian government is worried that the tens of thousands of people working inside Israel might bring fresh cases, especially with Eid al-Fitr holiday coming at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is doing everything to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Last month, Israel’s Supreme Court also ruled that the government must legislate mobile phone tracking in its battle against the coronavirus pandemic. The top court ordered the Shin Bet security agency, which uses cellular data and other technologies to retrace the movement of infected people, to halt its surveillance technology until the parliament legislates regarding the controversial practice.
As the number of coronavirus cases around the world continues to rise, government authorities have heightened the surveillance mechanism to keep a track of the outbreak. Digital surveillance in the wake of coronavirus pandemic has raised concerns over privacy and rights activists believe that it could be the next victim of coronavirus.