The Palestinian leadership’s claim Israel is preventing the Palestinians from accessing coronavirus vaccines is a “false and grotesque” blood libel, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. and U.N. Gilad Erdan told the Security Council on Tuesday.
“I would like to shatter the latest blood libel being spread by the Palestinians – false and grotesque accusations about Israel’s campaign to vaccinate its people,” Erdan said.
His remarks came after Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Malki told the council Israel had not provided Palestinians with vaccines.
“The occupying power has not provided any vaccine to the Palestinian people under occupation to this day, insisting that it is under no obligation to do so,” he said.
The claim is false for four reasons: Firstly, the Palestinians have not formally requested Israel’s help in vaccinating its people. Further, as Erdan pointed out to the Security Council, under the Oslo Accords, the responsibility to do so lies with the Palestinian. The PA also “informed Israel they intend to purchase vaccines from the Russian government and Israel has announced it will facilitate their transfer,” Erdan said.
It also turned down Israeli overtures to help, and earlier in the pandemic even turned away a delivery of coronavirus medical equipment from the United Arab Emirates because it was sent via Israel.
“According to the international agreements, the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the healthcare of its own population – just as it is responsible for their education system,” Erdan said.
“These are the facts,” he added.
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