Palestine: Israeli bars entry of COVID-19 vaccines to Gaza Strip

16th Feb 2021
Palestine: Israeli bars entry of COVID-19 vaccines to Gaza Strip

By Salam Abu Sharar

 

RAMALLAH (AA): Israel has barred the entry of 2,000 doses of a coronavirus vaccine sent by the Health Ministry to the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkaila confirmed Monday.

Alkaila said the ministry holds the Israeli occupation authorities responsible for this arbitrary action which goes against all laws and international agreements.

She noted that the ministry sent 2,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine to the Gaza Strip, but the occupation banned their entry.

She said the doses were intended for medical staff in Gaza working in intensive care units (ICUs) designated for COVID-19 patients and those working in emergency departments.

Alkaila emphasized that the ministry is still working with international organizations to pressure Israel to allow the entry of the vaccines into Gaza as soon as possible.

Israel’s ‘Give a Shoulder’ vaccination campaign, excludes 2.5 million Palestinians living under its control. Illegal Jewish settlers living in the occupied West Bank are, however, eligible for vaccination.

Major human rights groups say Israel, which controls the territories’ borders, is obligated to vaccinate Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza under international law.

Palestine has reported 168,444 COVID-19 cases and 1,936 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic last March.

[Photo: An Israeli being vaccinated against Covid-19 virus at Shamir Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel on January 28, 2021. Photographer: Mostafa Alkharouf/AA]

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