Less than a month since the world started rolling out COVID19 vaccinations, Israel has been celebrated globally for having the world's highest rate of coverage of its own population, having over 1 million people receiving the jab so far. However, rising criticism is targeting the country's efforts as it excludes the 5 million Palestinians who live under Israeli military control in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Israel's vaccinations have "not extended to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank & Gaza Strip," who lack access. The PA "does not appear to have publicly requested them. Legal experts...said Israel was obliged to provide the Palestinians with vaccines." https://t.co/3KiPPuyVr1 pic.twitter.com/OfJW1uMeRu— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) January 3, 2021
Providing COVID19 vaccines for 11.55 per 100 citizens, Israel now has the world's lead in vaccination efforts, giving priority to senior citizens and essential workers. Yet, human rights activists and pro-Palestinian voices worldwide are raising questions over Israeli policies providing the vaccine to its citizens while disregarding millions of Palestinians, who live under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, and near 2 million others who live in the Gaza Strip, where all borders continue to be controlled by Israel.
BBC fails to mention the 4.5 million Palestinians under Israeli military occupation it is legally obliged to vaccinate that rather alters the figures. https://t.co/rXIsLqWLci— Chris Doyle (@Doylech) January 2, 2021
According to Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth, Israel is obligated to provide health care services to the non-Israeli population under the country's control, just as much it's supposed to do with its own citizens, especially that efforts of the Israeli Health Ministry has reached Israeli settlers in West Bank settlements, but none of the Palestinians under Israeli rule.
I am so grossed out by celebratory accounts of Israel's vaccination programme when it is predicated on denial of vaccine to Palestinian people under its de jure and de facto control in its prisons, the West Bank and Gaza.— Laleh Khalili (@LalehKhalili) January 2, 2021
** Israel is not providing vaccines to Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank or the Gaza Strip ** https://t.co/BJyhQrzfgE— Josie Ensor (@Josiensor) January 1, 2021
Social media users also are pointing fingers at Israel for its role in limiting the Palestinian Authority's access and financial ability to obtain the vaccine, particularly as the PA suffers the consequences of Israel's withholding of its tax revenues for over six months during 2020, which has had a major negative impact on the West Bank's economy, destroying its GDP by at least 12% throughout the year.
Last December, the PA has expected receiving about 4 million doses of the Russian-manufactured vaccine Sputnik V, though still unapproved by the World Health Organization yet.
© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)