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Home NEWS Palestinians say Israel blocks shipment of COVID-19 vaccines to Gaza

Palestinians say Israel blocks shipment of COVID-19 vaccines to Gaza

The Palestinian Authority (PA) mentioned on February 15 that Israel was stopping it from sending coronavirus vaccines to the Gaza Strip which might be supposed for frontline medical employees within the territory managed by the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkaila mentioned in an announcement that Israel bore “full responsibility” for blocking the shipment of 2,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine that had been acquired by the PA, which governs elements of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The PA has mentioned it’s going to share its vaccine provide with Gaza, the place the Islamic militant group Hamas seized energy from its forces in 2007. The territory, which is dwelling to greater than 2 million Palestinians, has but to obtain any vaccines. Authorities there have reported greater than 53,000 instances and no less than 537 deaths for the reason that begin of the pandemic.

Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza for the reason that Hamas takeover. Some Israeli lawmakers have mentioned Israel ought to solely permit in vaccines in return for progress on the discharge of two captive Israelis and the stays of two Israeli troopers being held by Hamas.

An Israeli official mentioned Israel has acquired a request to permit 1,000 Sputnik V doses to be delivered to Gaza that was nonetheless being debated late Monday.

“It wasn’t blocked. They are still contemplating it,” the official mentioned, talking on situation of anonymity to talk about high-level deliberations.

In a dialogue on Monday in Israel’s international affairs and protection committee, Chairman Zvi Hauser requested a consultant from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s National Security Council for particulars on the vaccine switch coverage.

Hauser requested if the federal government “intends to demand the return of bodies and captives or demand that the Red Cross be allowed to visit the captives there, or at least ask for information about them.” He additionally expressed concern that the vaccines would go to Hamas and never medical employees.

The National Security Council official, Roi Binyamini, instructed the panel that the federal government had no intention of sharing Israel’s personal provide of vaccines with Gaza. But he mentioned the federal government was weighing requests from different events to permit the PA to ship its personal vaccines to Gaza. He mentioned he anticipated a choice to be made rapidly.

Israel has launched one of the world’s most successful vaccination programs, inoculating greater than a 3rd of its inhabitants of 9.3 million since December.

Rights teams say it has an obligation as an occupying energy to share its vaccines with the Palestinians. Israel denies having such an obligation and says its precedence is its personal residents. The Palestinian Authority has not publicly requested vaccines from Israel and says it has secured its personal provide by means of the World Health Organization and agreements with drug makers.

Still, Israel supplied 2,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to the PA earlier this month, permitting it to start vaccinating medical employees, and the PA says it independently acquired one other 10,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine. It would want Israel’s permission to switch them to Gaza.

Hamas is believed to be holding two captives, an Israeli of Ethiopian descent who entered Gaza shortly after the 2014 battle and an Arab Bedouin citizen of Israel. It can also be holding the stays of two Israeli troopers killed within the battle. In alternate, Hamas is probably going to demand the discharge of a big quantity of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, together with people implicated in lethal assaults.

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