Jerusalem, Sunday, February 28, 2021 – In reaction to Israel’s announcement on sending surplus vaccines to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Honduras, and Guatemala, Oxfam Acting Country Director in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Dina Jibril has described the deal as “shameful”, as millions of Palestinians are left to wait.
“Israel’s deal to exchange surplus vaccines for UN votes and embassies, while the vast majority of almost 5 million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza are left to wait for the potentially life-saving vaccine, is shameful and shortsighted,” said Jibril in a statement.
She added, “Shipping excess vaccine stocks across the world while Palestinians living, in many cases, only a few hundred meters away from vaccinated Israelis is yet another example of the Israeli government’s refusal to fulfill its legal obligation as an occupying power.”
Jibril stressed that the occupying state had “a moral and public health imperatives to ensure all Palestinians have access to adequate, basic services including healthcare. Israel must direct its efforts to ensure an urgent, free vaccination campaign for all Palestinians.”
“Once again Israel’s treatment of Palestinians not only endangers Palestinians’ health and prioritizes politics over people, this short-term thinking harms Israel’s own long-term interests too. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said, none of us are safe from COVID-19 until we are all safe”