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Palestinians launch initiatives to fight COVID-19 outbreak

Dozens of individual and community-based initiatives were launched in the West Bank following the declaration of a state of emergency when COVID-19 infections were detected in Bethlehem.

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian Authority (PA) faces major challenges, especially at the financial level, to confront the spread of coronavirus in the Palestinian territories. The PA asked Israel to transfer its withheld clearance funds, according to government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem at a press conference March 22.

According to Hebrew Channel 13, the Israeli government will release 120 million shekels ($33.5 million) from the tax revenues that it collects on the PA’s behalf. The decision was made based upon the recommendation of Israeli security leaders. They fear the coronavirus could spread uncontrollably if the PA is unable to contain it, which could lead to the PA's collapse.

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