West Bank schools shut amid spike in Covid-19 variants
The closure, which comes into effect on Sunday, excludes secondary schools, Shtayyeh said in a televised address.
The PA premier added that the restrictions had come into effect because of rising cases of coronavirus variants first detected in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Covid-19 intensive care units in the West Bank have reached 95 percent occupancy, the PA health ministry said, attributing the sharp rise in cases to schools.
The health ministry reported on Thursday that a randomised sample of Covid-19 patients showed that three-quarters were infected with the British variant.
The West Bank is home to some 3.1 million Palestinians and has reported a total of 118,519 coronavirus cases, with 1,406 deaths.
Earlier this week, a World Bank report said the occupied Palestinian territories have one of the lowest testing rates in the Middle East and North Africa. It added that West Bank's positivity rate is more than 21 percent, while Gaza's stands at 29 percent.
Gaza, which has been subjected to years of crippling blockade by Israel, has reported 55,091 cases and 549 deaths within its population of two million.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay connected