Several Israelis, including some officials, are urging their government not to allow the vaccine to Gaza.
Is Israel stopping the Covid-19 vaccine from reaching Gaza? The Israeli occupation authorities intend to transfer 5,000 doses of the Pfizer-AstraZeneca vaccine to the Palestinian Authority, according to the Israeli website “Ynet”. Israeli officials estimate that the number of vaccines referred to reach twenty thousand, for administration to medical teams, according to the Israeli website “Walla”.
It is unclear whether part of the vaccines, scheduled to be transferred early next week, will be transferred to hospitals in the Gaza Strip. Several contradicting reports have been released by several media outlets, but nothing has been made official yet. Moreover, several Israelis, including some officials are urging their government not to allow the vaccine to Gaza. Several countries and major human rights groups have criticized the Israeli occupations failure to provide the Palestinians with the Corona vaccine.
Article 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention affirms that “the occupying power” must ensure “the adoption and implementation of the necessary preventive measures to combat the spread of infectious diseases and epidemics.” Human Rights groups have called on the international community to pressure the Israeli government to shoulder this responsibility.
Covid-19 Vaccine in Gaza
Analyst Dr Adnan Abu Amer says, “Israel may not refuse the vaccine to enter Gaza as they fear public critique, but they can procrastinate to transfer it.” The Israeli authorities procrastinate on policy, as it harms occupied Palestine with less direct international blowback.
Residents of the blockaded and impoverished Gaza Strip struggle to deal with the pandemic amid ongoing dual Israeli and Egyptian blockades, which exerts tremendous additional pressure on the health system in Gaza.
The Palestinian Health Ministry has logged more than 150,000 cases of covid in the occupied West Bank, including 1,500 deaths. Gaza — where the poor and densely housed population of 2 million is extremely vulnerable to contagions — has recorded 50882 coronavirus cases and 522 deaths since last March.
As the number of new infections appeared to have fallen in recent days, authorities in Gaza City have eased restrictions first imposed during a second lockdown on August. In the Gaza Strip, the situation is worse, as it is not possible to test those who are thought to have COVID-19 because of the scarcity of medical supplies.
According to the Ministry of Health, the health system is on the verge of collapse, due to a lack of intensive care beds and ventilators.
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