Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Feb. 25

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JERUSALEM — Israel entered on Thursday night a three-day curfew to prevent the traditional mass celebrations during the Jewish holiday of Purim so to curb the spread of the COVID-19.

The nightly lockdown began at 8:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) and will be lifted at 5:00 a.m. (0300 GMT) the next day, according to a government statement issued on Thursday. (Israel-COVID19-Purim Curfew)

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DAMASCUS — Syrian Health Minister Hasan Ghabbash said on Thursday that Syria will start giving COVID-19 vaccines to its medical staff from next week.

In a press conference, the minister said the Syrian government had obtained the vaccine from a “friendly country” without naming it. (Syria-COVID19-Vaccine)

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DAMASCUS — Four people were killed and eight others wounded on Thursday by an explosion in a rebel-held city in northeastern Syria, a war monitor reported.

The explosion was caused by a booby-trapped van that went off at a marketplace in the Ras al-Ayn city in the countryside of the northeastern province of Hasakah, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (Syria-Blast-Deaths)

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JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that he has accepted an invitation by Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa to visit the Gulf state.

The prime minister’s office issued a statement saying the two leaders agreed that Netanyahu will travel to Bahrain “as soon as possible,” once COVID-19 restrictions would allow it. (Israel-Bahrain-Visit)