Israel Has Provided Palestine With A Batch Of “Symbolic” Vaccines For Its Health Workers

2021-02-24   |   by CusiGO

Israel announced on Tuesday that it would provide a “symbolic dose” to the Palestinian Authority to protect its health workers, the day after the world bank proposed to share the vaccine with Palestine to ensure effective immunization against cowid-19. For a month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accumulated the same unused bottles in his reserves, which he used to cede part of the surplus to “several countries” not mentioned in an official statement.

Vaccine diplomacy has taken a step in the Middle East. Israel has vaccinated nearly half and a third of its 9.2 million residents with at least one dose of Pfizer biotech vaccine, one third of them with a second dose, and delivered at least 2000 vaccines from the Palestinian health service modernization laboratory earlier this month, Russia has abandoned its 10000 doses of satellite V vaccine. The Palestine Liberation Organization has demanded that Israel, as the occupying power since 1967, vaccinate nearly 5 million residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Netanyahu government argues that the Palestinian Authority has exclusive jurisdiction over its health system since the 1993 Oslo Agreement.

However, a report released by the world bank on Monday warns that there is a $30 million (24.7 million euro) shortfall in funding for the Palestinian vaccination programme, although 20% of the vaccination is provided by the covax international cooperation programme. “In order to ensure effective action, the Israeli authorities must coordinate with the Palestinian Authority to finance, purchase and distribute the covid-19 vaccine,” the world bank said. By 2020, the GDP of the Palestinian economy will have declined by 11.5%.

“In view of the success of the vaccination campaign, Israel has received requests for assistance from a number of countries. But we only buy vaccines for our people, not make them, “the prime minister’s cabinet statement said. “We can’t provide physical assistance until we finish our campaign.” According to Israeli media reports, US Secretary of state Antony Blinken had a telephone conversation with foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi on the delivery of vaccines to Gaza and the West Bank on Monday.

The United Arab Emirates, which also does not produce vaccines, delivered 20000 doses of satellite V to the Gaza Strip on Sunday. Palestinian leader Mohamed Dahlan, who is in exile in the United Arab Emirates after a conflict with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, seems to have influenced the operation in favor of Gaza, where he has political fiefdoms. Last week, Israel detained 2000 doses of sputnik-5 for two days on the West Bank border for a Palestinian Mediterranean enclave. Shortly after, it was reported that the Israeli government had promised to pay for the delivery of 500000 doses of Russian vaccine to Syria as part of the prisoner exchange agreement to release an Israeli girl detained across the border.

In view of the unexpected delivery of vials between countries that are still technically at war, Israel is taking steps to vaccinate some of the 120000 Palestinians who come to work every day from the West Bank. Experts from the Ministry of health believe that there is a risk of an outbreak of infection in their presence. Redstar is equivalent to the Red Cross and has opened an immunization center at the Kalandia crossing point between Ramallah and Jerusalem. It employs 65000 Palestinian and 250000 Israeli workers and has asked the health authorities to vaccinate its Palestinian workers. “They’ve been with us for many years,” the letter they sent us said. “We think it’s fair and ethical to take this step.”

Hebrew media claimed that Honduras, Guatemala and the Czech Republic were the countries that benefited from Israel’s excess vaccine, close allies that had promised to open a diplomatic office in Jerusalem in the past. According to Reuters, he confirmed that his country had received thousands of doses of modern vaccines. Israel regards al Quds al Sharif as its only capital, despite the desire of the Palestinians to use the eastern part of the city, which has been under military occupation for nearly 54 years, as the seat of its future state institutions. Of the 164 countries associated with Israel, 89 have embassies, of which 87 are in Tel Aviv. Only the United States and Guatemala moved their missions to Jerusalem.