Human rights organizations accuse Israel of shirking its commitments to millions of people who can wait months for vaccination in occupied territories
After giving more than one tenth of the population their first inoculations against the coronavirus, Israel is celebrating an unprecedented, record-breaking vaccination drive.
But Palestinians can only watch and wait in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. While the world has seen what is now on track to become a highly unequal vaccine drive – with citizens being vaccinated first in richer nations – the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories offers a strong illustration of the divide.
They are only distributed to Jewish settlers, however, and not to the approximately 2.7 million Palestinians who live in the area and may have to wait for weeks or months. “I don’t know how, but there must be a way to make us a priority, too?”I don’t know how, but should there be a way to make us a priority, too? Who is taking care of us? Israel administers more than 150,000 doses of the vaccine daily two weeks into the vaccination program, equal to the initial vaccination of more than one million of its nine million residents – a higher proportion of the population than anywhere else. In sports stadiums and central squares, vaccination centres have been set up. People over 60, health care staff
In addition to a sophisticated health care system, the economy may be part of the explanation for the pace.
Compared to the $19.50 charged by the United States, a health ministry official said the country paid $62 per dose, and the Palestinian Authority, which retains minimal self-government in the territories, is also rushing to get vaccines. One official indicated, perhaps optimistically, that the vaccines could arrive within the next two weeks, but Ali Abed Rabbo, di di di optimistically, suggested that the vaccines could arrive within the next two weeks when asked for a time frame.
Last year, after the Palestinian president cut security relations for several months, cooperation between the two sides halted, but Rabbo said there had been “meetings” with Israel. “Israeli officials have suggested that they could provide Palestinians with surplus vaccines and claim that they are not responsible for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, pointing to interim agreements from the 1990s that they could provide Palestinians with surplus vaccines and that they are not responsible for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
Almost three decades later, during the pandemic, Israeli, Palestinian, and international rights organizations accused Israel of shirking moral, humanitarian, and legal responsibilities as an occupying force. Gisha, an Israeli rights organization, said that previous Palestinian efforts to pursue vaccinations abroad “do not absolve Israel of its ultimate responsibility to the occupied Palestinians.”