This past Friday, the Palestinian Authority (PA) dismantled an agreement to receive almost a million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Israel.
“The new Israeli government, which was sworn in on Sunday, said it would transfer Pfizer vaccines that are close to expiring, and that the Palestinian Authority would reimburse it with a similar number of vaccines when it receives them from the pharmaceutical company in September or October,” reported the Associated Press on the matter. “Up to 1.4 million doses could be exchanged, the Israeli government said in a statement.”
In the wake of this decision, no less than three other countries have reportedly been in contact with the Israeli government in order to potentially receive some of the vaccine doses so oddly rejected by the PA, according to a report by Haaretz.
At the time of rejection, the PA had already gotten its first shipment of over 100k doses of the vaccine when it publically announced its plans to reject their aid, as reported by The Times Of Israel.
“It became clear to us they did not conform to the specifications contained in the agreement,” stated Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, a spokesperson for the PA, in a release, as per The Wall Street Journal. The PA made note of the expiration date of the first shipment of doses, which were due to expire at the end of June, as the reason for its rejecting of the potential aid in terms of vaccine doses.
The health ministry of Israel stated that the vaccines it had intended to send were “perfectly sound” and that it was common knowledge to the PA, ahead of time, that the first shipment of doses was fairly close to its expiration and would need expediting. The ministry stated that the rest of the doses of vaccine are set to expire over a month later near the end of July.
The PA officials ended the vaccine deal after a massive outcry from groups of Palestinians that claimed that the vaccines were already bad, in spite of the fact that not a single one was expired, and of being of the same stock that Israel had used in order to vaccinate its own citizens. The PA is currently struggling harshly to secure any hold on the West Bank, which is historically the regions of Judea and Samaria, as the infamous terror group Hamas, currently in control of the Gaza Strip, has risen in popularity among the Palestine people. As reported by The Jerusalem Post:
Just last week, a public opinion poll conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research showed that support for the PA’s main rival, Hamas, has increased dramatically since the last war between the Gaza-based terrorist group and Israel. The poll also showed that 84% of the Palestinians believe there is corruption in PA institutions.
Israel had originally set up the deal in order to send vaccine doses to the PA for distribution due to the fact that Israel had already secured more than enough doses to fulfill its entire demand. After securing the deal with the PA, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted out, “We will continue to find effective ways to cooperate for the benefit of people in the region.”