Palestinians seek closure of West Bank crossings to curb virus Jul 07, 2020 0 327 12345 AFPRamallahThe Palestinian prime minister called on Israel Monday to close all West Bank crossings, saying a lack of Palestinian control over the access points was responsible for surging coronavirus cases. The call from prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh came as both the occupied West Bank and Israel continued to see a rising virus caseload, sparking fears of a second pandemic wave that could prove difficult to contain. “The infection rates reached unprecedented levels in Palestine due to many things, including that we do not control our crossings (and) our borders,” Shtayyeh said ahead of a weekly cabinet meeting. “We are calling on Israel to close all the crossings and for Palestinians working in Israel to stay at their places of work and not return to the Palestinian territories,” he said. There have been more than 4,200 confirmed coronavirus cases in the West Bank, including 16 deaths. Israel has meanwhile recorded more than 30,000 cases, including nearly 18,000 recoveries and more than 330 deaths.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that it was clear the pandemic was “spreading”.“If we do not act now, we will have hundreds, and perhaps over 1,000, severe cases in the coming weeks, which will paralyse our systems,” he said. His government later announced plans for renewed restrictions, including the closure of event venues, clubs, bars, gyms and public pools -- all of which had re-opened in recent weeks. Fresh curbs on the number of people allowed in restaurants and places of worship were also set to come into force. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES ‘Does not matter’ who wins next US elections: Iran foreign minister Jul 07, 2020 0 329 Kenya to emerge from virus lockdown, resume international flights Jul 07, 2020 0 342 Rocket fired at Baghdad airport, no explosion: Security source Jul 07, 2020 0 835 Iran’s daily virus deaths near record high Tehran Iran on Monday reported 160 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, close to the country’s highest single-day toll announced the previous day. The Islamic republic has been battling the Middle East’s deadliest .. Saudi Arabia makes masks mandatory, bans gatherings during Hajj DPA Riyadh Muslim pilgrims at this year’s Hajj must wear face masks at all times, authorities said, while workers will ensure no overcrowding or gatherings take place during the pilgrimage that in normal times brings .. Shallow 4.6-magnitude earthquake rocks Kabul: USGS A shallow 4.6-magnitude earthquake rocked Kabul on Monday, the US Geological Survey said, sending crowds into the streets of the Afghan capital. There were no immediate reports of any casualties after the quake shook .. Ghana challenger names first woman as major party VP pick Accra Ghana’s main presidential challenger John Mahama on Monday named Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang as his running mate for December’s election, the first time a major party has chosen a female vice-presidential .. Israel launches new spy satellite to target enemies ‘near and far’ DPA Tel Aviv Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said his country was much better able to act against enemies “near and far” thanks to the successful launch of a new spy satellite. Against the backdrop of ..