Israel has agreed to transfer over a million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to the Palestinians to help them tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The move was made to help speed up the delivery of vaccines to the Palestinians to help save lives in the territories as well as protect Israelis since many unvaccinated Palestinians are working in and travelling to Israel regularly.

Yair Lapid, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said, “Israel today agreed a deal to transfer 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to the Palestinian Authority.”

He added that Israel “will continue to find effective ways to cooperate for the benefit of people in the region.”

The delivery of vaccines will happen quickly using Israel’s current reserves. Later in the year, Israel will receive Pfizer vaccines that will replenish its stocks.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office said in a statement, “The plan was approved based on the fact that Israel’s current vaccine stockpile is sufficient for its current needs.”

A statement from the Health Ministry said Israel would deliver between one million and 1.4 million doses, and would receive an identical number of doses in return.

The Walla news site reported that a first batch of some 100,000 doses was being transferred to the Palestinians Friday. Quoting sources in the Health Ministry, the report said the vaccines, 1.2 million doses in total, would go only to the West Bank, not the Gaza Strip.

Israel has been heavily criticised for not providing vaccines to the Palestinians in the past. Many media outlets ran false stories that Israel was responsible for Palestinian health services. Lies prevailed that Israel was “denying vaccines to Palestinians”.

This is not true and the BBC themselves admitted the PA was responsible for vaccines, not Israel.

“Although there is a wider dispute over the issue, the Accords – which Israel signed with the Palestine Liberation Organisation – give the Palestinian Authority oversight of public health under the principles of self-determination,” the BBC admitted.

The Palestinian Authority is fullyt responsible for the health services within the Palestinian territories of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Hamas is responsible for the health services in Gaza.

Despite this, Israel already provides health services to Palestinians inside Israel. Even during the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, the daughter of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was being treated in a Tel Aviv hospital while Hamas rockets rained down on the city. Haniyeh was relying on Israel to protect his daughter from his terror groups own rockets.

Israel has no obligation to provide vaccines to the Palestinians, but it has done so free of charge in the past and this latest move also shows a willingness to help that is often ignored by the media.

Israel vaccinated over 100,000 Palestinian workers. When Israel first received vaccines they provided 1,000 to help frontline hospital staff in the West Bank, but the PA admitted that instead of giving these vaccines to health workers they instead gave them to PA leaders, celebrities and sportsmen.

There is a big difference between how Israel treats their neighbour and how the Palestinians treat Israel. It is high time the world’s media woke up to this reality and started giving Israel the credit it deserves rather than seeking to condemn at every turn.

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