Mon, 08 Mar 2021

Israel to close land crossings with Egypt, Jordan

28 Jan 2021, 04:18 GMT+10

JERUSALEM, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said Wednesday that Israel will close its border crossings with Egypt and Jordan as part of its struggle to stop new coronavirus strains.

A statement issued by Deri's office said that land crossings with Egypt and Jordan will be closed for both Israelis and non-Israelis starting from Thursday morning. The temporary measure will remain effective until Sunday, Deri said.

Allenby Bridge, known by Palestinians as al-Karameh Bridge, will remain open, according to the statement. The crossing connects the occupied West Bank and Jordan.

"In the wake of the uncertainty and as part of the joint effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, I must close the land crossings until the issue would be clarified," Deri said in the statement.

Also on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called to extend the current nationwide lockdown, which was supposed to be lifted on Sunday.

"Tomorrow I will bring to the cabinet a proposal to extend the lockdown. For how long? It depends on the morbidity," he said during a visit to a vaccination center in the southern city of Sderot.

Israel has been under a third nationwide lockdown since December 19, 2020, which was supposed to be lifted on January 31.

With a population of about 9 million people, Israel has so far reported a total of 619,150 cases and 4,539 deaths.

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