The Palestinian Authority has once again endangered the health of its population to vilify Israel, said AIPAC in a statement.
It said, the Palestinian Authority has once again endangered the health of its population to vilify Israel. When Israel delivered 100,000 COVID vaccines to the PA on June 18, the PA returned 90,000 doses—falsely claiming that their June 30 expiration date made them impossible to use and implying that Israel was reneging on its offer to help Palestinians.
So instead of inoculating 90,000 Palestinians last weekend, the PA chose to smear Israel and prioritize Israel’s demonization over Palestinian lives.
Israel works to help Palestinians while Palestinian leaders stand in the way.
- Under the Oslo Accords, the PA is solely responsible for Palestinian healthcare under its jurisdiction and has continuously asserted that responsibility. In January 2021, a PA health official stated “we are not a department in the Israeli Defense Ministry. We have our own government and Ministry of Health, and they are making huge efforts to get the vaccine.”
- Nonetheless, throughout the pandemic, Israel has made concerted efforts to suppress the spread of infection among Palestinians, becoming the first country to share its vaccines before fully inoculating its own population and facilitating the transfer of any vaccines independently procured by the PA.
- For example, this April, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) vaccinated over 100,000 Palestinian workers with Israeli work permits using Israel’s own vaccine supply.
- Roughly a quarter of vaccinated Palestinians have been inoculated by Israel. Previously, Israel transferred vaccines to inoculate Palestinian medical workers and Palestinian leaders.
- In the most recent episode, Israel negotiated for months to help its Palestinian neighbors, and concluded a deal which could deliver dramatic results—including the delivery of 1 million doses. Clearly, both Israel and the PA knew that the PA could move rapidly to inoculate Palestinians.
Just last week, the PA Health Ministry stated it could vaccinate60,000 persons per day in the West Bank. But rather than putting those shots into arms, the PA sent back Israel’s initial vaccine shipment—claiming it could not rollout the vaccines before their expiration date. •In doing so, the PA implied that Israel was dumping unusable vaccines in the West Bank. But these vaccines had the exact same expiration date as the vaccines that Israel was giving its own citizens.
- Sadly, PA negligence of its own population for propaganda purposes appears to be ingrained. In May 2020, the PA rejected a shipment of COVID-19 aid from the United Arab Emirates because the airplane landed at an Israeli airport. PA Health Minister Mai Alkaila stated they “refused the aid from the UAE because it wasn’t coordinated through us or any of our systems.”
AIPAC in its statement further said, Israel has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to peace—including through its multiple efforts to negotiate a two-state solution, offers to help Palestinians during the pandemic, and its four recent peace and normalization agreements with its Arab and Muslim neighbors. By contrast, Palestinian leaders have demonstrated a penchant for abandoning peace talks, instead promoting boycotts of Israel and seeking to punish the Jewish state at international institutions like the International Criminal Court. Their policies hurt the welfare of ordinary Palestinians and erode Israeli trust—making it much more difficult to achieve peace. Fortunately, this past year, some Arab leaders have embraced bringing peace and prosperity to their citizens by welcoming normalization with Israel. Others are actively considering expanding the circle of peace. Palestinian leaders should follow their lead.
The mission of AIPAC is to encourage and persuade the U.S. government to enact specific policies that create a strong, enduring and mutually beneficial relationship with our ally Israel.
AIPAC engages with and educate decision-makers about the bonds that unite the two countries, and how it is in America’s best interest to strengthen those bonds and help ensure that the Jewish state remains safe, strong and secure.
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