Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, on Tuesday, voiced out his views regarding the vaccination of the people of Palestine. He stated that it would be the right thing to do to assist the Palestinian Authority in vaccinating the citizens against the novel coronavirus.
Netanyahu revealed that he had referred a shipment to the PA, which contained thousands of doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. According to him, helping the people of Palestine is part of the most recent response policies of Israel.
The leader pointed out that despite what people say, Israel is not an island like Australia or New Zealand. Rather, the country is connected to Palestinians. He also pointed out that a large chunk of the Palestinian population are currently working in Israel.
The Prime Minister added that the country has an interest in making sure that there is not a high level of morbidity amongst Palestinians. He also said that things will be kept in control and that he believes that this is a step in the right direction.
The doses shipped to PA have been sent with the intention of vaccinating the medical staff first, much like in Israel.
Netanyahu informed that once the entire population of Israel has been vaccinated, the government will then deliver doses of the vaccine to various other countries that have requested it.
On Monday, the State of Israel made a transfer of 2,000 doses to the PA. 3,000 additional doses are expected to be delivered in the upcoming days. 20,000 more doses will be made available to the people of Palestine in the weeks to come.
Mohammad Shtayyeh, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, made an announcement saying that the PA is expecting to receive at least 50,000 doses of vaccines from multiple sources. Most of the doses that will be coming in will be mainly from the COVAX facility, which is coordinated by the World Health Organization. In addition, as per sources, the vaccination campaign in the areas of Gaza Strip and West Bank will begin sometime in the middle of February.
Shtayyeh announced the arrival of doses after Israel announced that it was sending a shipment. However, he said nothing in reference to it.
Moreover, in the past two weeks, officials from Palestine have been making some contradictory statements regarding Israel’s assistance. There is no clarity about whether or not PA asked for help from them. The Foreign Ministry from PA believes that Israel being the ‘occupying power’ is obligated to provide their citizens with vaccines.
On the other hand, some officials revealed that they had not made any requests regarding the vaccines from Israel. They had went on to say that the PA had rejected any help that the ‘occupying power’ or its NGOs had to offer.
Time and time again, Israel has been condemned for allegedly withholding coronavirus vaccinations and aid from Palestinians. Activists and politicians have cited international law and stated that the occupying power is required to cater to the healthcare needs of the occupied people.