Gaza authorities are desperately trying to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease.(Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)
The Palestinian Ministry of Health dismissed last night reports by Israeli media outlets that it had received any COVID-19 vaccinations from Israel.
The ministry said in a statement that it had been approached by non-governmental Israeli companies that offered an initial 20 vaccinations for experimentation by the Ministry of Health, a matter which was utterly rejected by the latter.
Palestinian Authority: We refused to accept 20 doses of vaccine from Israel. The offer was made by unofficial Israeli parties. We are working to obtain vaccines from WHO and companies around the world.
— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) January 7, 2021
It said the government was actively seeking to purchase vaccines approved by the World Health Organization, and that it has reached out to many companies to purchase these approved vaccines.
The ministry pointed out that the vaccines will be available in Palestine next February, and that they will be optional and charge-free for citizens.
“Israel’s exclusion of the occupied Palestinian people from having access to vaccines is entirely consistent with Israel’s trajectory of racism, where Palestinians are exploited for their land, water and cheap labor, while never factoring in as an item on Israel’s list of priorities, even during the time of a deadly pandemic,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud commented.
#Amnesty: #Israel Must Provide #Palestinians with #COVID #Vaccine https://t.co/uafWrrba3I via @PalestineChron pic.twitter.com/oh7uRWFiwn
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) January 6, 2021
“Frequently we speak of Israel’s apartheid, often illustrating that in terms of giant walls, fences and military checkpoints that cage in Palestinians. But in Israel, apartheid runs much deeper as it reaches almost every facet of society where Israeli Jews, including settlers are treated far better than Palestinians, whether those living in Israel or in the occupied territories. Excluding Palestinians from a vaccine that is necessary to save the lives of thousands is part of protracted and systemic Israeli apartheid and racial discrimination” Baroud added.
(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)