Coronavirus: Gaza mosques close over virus measures | AFP

Mosques lie empty of Muslim worshippers after the Gaza Strip authorities closed all mosques in the Palestinian enclave as a measure to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health ministry reported on Thursday seven new cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the enclave to nine.

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Coronavirus: In Gaza, young artists paint on masks to encourage people to wear them | AFP

In Gaza city, Palestinian artists Samah Said and Dorgham Krakeh paint on N95 respirator masks in a bid to encourage people to wear them as well as to raise awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic. Last Sunday, authorities in Gaza confirmed the first two cases of the novel coronavirus. The United Nations has warned that an outbreak in the Palestinian enclave could be disastrous, given the high poverty rates and weak health system in the coastal strip under an Israeli blockade since 2007.

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Coronavirus: White dress and matching mask, Gazans brave virus to wed | AFP

“We had prepared a big party, now I have prepared facemasks, chlorine, gloves, and Dettol”, says a Palestinian groom wearing a protective mask during a photo shoot at a studio before his wedding ceremony in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, where authorities recently confirmed its first two COVID-19 cases.

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Israeli forces in protective gear stand at a checkpoint in Jerusalem | AFP

Israeli security forces in protective gear check vehicles at the Walajah checkpoint in Jerusalem on a road leading to the West Bank city of Bethlehem. The city of Bethlehem was under lockdown on Friday after the first Palestinian cases of the deadly coronavirus were discovered there and authorities announced a state of emergency. IMAGES

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Bethlehem under lockdown after virus cases confirmed | AFP

The city of Bethlehem is under lockdown after the first Palestinian cases of the deadly coronavirus were discovered there and authorities announced a state of emergency.

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Palestinians announce West Bank tourism ban over coronavirus | AFP

Palestinians announce a two-week ban on tourists visiting cities and sites in the occupied West Bank, after the first suspected cases of coronavirus in the territory. The Palestinian health ministry announced a number of suspected cases had been detected at a hotel in the Bethlehem area.

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Palestinian leader warns UN of Trump’s “Swiss cheese” peace deal | AFP

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas urges the UN Security Council to reject President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, brandishing a large map of a future Palestine as laid out by Trump, and denouncing it as a “Swiss cheese” deal.

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Airstrikes in Syria; car attack in Jerusalem

Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes early on Thursday near Damascus, wounding eight soldiers, Syrian state media said. Also Thursday, the Israeli military says a Palestinian driver rammed his car into Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem, hurting 12. (Feb. 6)

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Dozens in Lebanon protest Trump’s Middle East plan | AFP

Dozens protest near the US embassy in Lebanon against US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan. The demonstrators, both Palestinian refugees and Lebanese, chanted slogans and flew flags as security forces blocked off a road to the diplomatic compound.

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Trump Mideast plan calls for Palestinian state

President Donald Trump’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan calls for the creation of a State of Palestine with its capital in portions of east Jerusalem. A plan which strongly favors Israel, the Palestinians have already say no to. (Jan. 28)

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White House releases map of proposed Israeli, Palestinian state borders | AFP

The White House releases its proposal for the future borders of Israeli and Palestinian states as part of US President Donald Trump’s controversial peace plan. The map provided by the White House shows the West Bank area containing some 15 Israeli settlements, connected to the Gaza Strip area by only a tunnel. SOUNDBITE

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Trump proposes 4-year development freeze in area for Palestinian state | AFP

US President Donald Trump proposes that Israeli development in an area that would become the Palestinian state under his Middle East peace plan be frozen for four years. “During this time, Palestinians can use all appropriate deliberation to study the deal, negotiate with Israel, achieve the criteria for statehood, and become a truly independent and wonderful state,” Trump says at the White House in Washington. SOUNDBITE

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Trump says Mideast plan proposes ‘realistic two-state solution’ | AFP

US President Donald Trump says his Middle East peace plan offers “a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.” SOUNDBITE

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Gaza: Palestinian demonstrators protest against US peace plan | AFP

Palestinian demonstrators protest against the U.S. Middle East peace plan, in Gaza City, which will finally be aired jointly by Trump and visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.

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Palestinian demonstrators protest against Trump’s “peace plan” | AFP

Palestinian demonstrators protest against the U.S. Middle East peace plan, in Gaza City, as Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh urges international powers to boycott US President Donald Trump’s “peace plan” which they see as biased towards Israel.

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Unread post piles up at defunct Palestinian parliament | AFP

It has been more than a decade since the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) last met, due to infighting between Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah and Islamists Hamas. The two sides are currently talking up the prospect of new elections, the first since 2006, but for now the key Palestinian political institution, located in the occupied West Bank, lies empty.

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Palestinians mourn Soleimani’s death in Gaza city | AFP

Palestinian factions organise a mourning ceremony in Gaza city in honour of slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani killed in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in a US air strike.

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