AFP /Gaza City
Hamas yesterday blasted Israel’s refusal to allow some 2,000 coronavirus vaccine doses destined for Gaza health workers through its blockade of the territory as a “violation” of international law.
The Palestinian Authority, based in the occupied West Bank, had planned to send the Russian Sputnik V doses through Israel to Gaza, a separate territory run by Hamas.
But on Monday evening, the PA health ministry said Israel had blocked the delivery.
Israel’s move marked “a real crime and a violation of all international laws and humanitarian standards,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said.
COGAT, the Israeli military department that runs civil affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories, said Monday that the PA had requested to transfer 1,000 vaccine doses to Gaza but that “this request is waiting for a political decision”. The Palestinian Authority yesterday urged the World Health Organisation to “condemn Israel” for the obstruction.
The PA called on the WHO and other international organisations “to hold (Israel) fully responsible for the dangers arising from preventing the entry of vaccines into the Gaza Strip,” spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said.
The PA said Monday that its own vaccination campaign for the general public had been pushed back due to a delay in deliveries.
It had been anticipating a shipment by the middle of this month, enabling it to start vaccinating the general public in the West Bank while sharing stock with Hamas.
The PA is expecting some 2mn doses ordered from various manufacturers, in addition to vaccines from the UN-backed Covax programme, set up to help less wealthy nations procure vaccines.
It began inoculating frontline healthcare workers earlier this month with an initial procurement of 10,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, as well as several thousand doses of the Moderna product.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Saudi to lift most covid curbs Sunday
Missile strikes on Syria oil refineries kill 4
Pope urges Iraqis to give peace a chance
Amir of Kuwait departs for US for medical tests
Egypt's 'Scorpion King' turns venom into money
Food trucks park for free in Bahrain mall to ease Covid-19 finances
ICC prosecutor set to probe war crimes in Palestinian Territories
10 rockets hit Iraq base hosting US troops
Saudi Arabia says vaccination must for this year’s Haj