Palestinian leaders turn on Israel again after failing to provide their own people with timely vaccinations.
Hobbled by its well-known political infighting and incompetence, the Palestinian Authority blamed Israel after it failed to obtain coronavirus vaccines despite saying last year that they had signed agreements for several million doses from Russia that were supposed to arrive before the end of 2020.
With pressure mounting on the Palestinian leadership because Israel is already weeks into its successful nation-wide vaccination campaign, the Palestinian Authority tried to divert attention from its incompetence and fell back on its old reliable policy – saying it’s Israel’s fault.
Earlier this week, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Israel was “ignoring its duties as an occupation and racially discriminating against the Palestinian people, denying them their right to healthcare,” and going so far as invoking the Geneva Convention to try and turn their own failure to get vaccines into an Israeli war crime.
The Israeli NGO Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) specializes in exposing how the PA blames Israel for its own failures, “and the PA’s behavior following its inability to acquire the Covid-19 vaccine fast enough is no different,” said PMW’s director of legal affairs Maurice Hirsch.
Last year, after Israel signed peace agreements with a number of Arab countries, Palestinian leaders cut off ties with Israel, saying they didn’t need anything from the Jewish state. Also, the Palestinians have insisted for decades that they can handle their own health care.
“The PA has been assuring its population for two months that its Ministry of Health is in control, has ordered vaccines, and that their arrival is imminent, without Israel’s help,” Hirsch said. ”However, it is not progressing to their satisfaction, so the PA has chosen its default excuse for all PA failures: to blame Israel.”
“This sudden attack ignores the fact that the PA did not want Israel’s help and did not ask for Israel’s help, and contradicts its repeated assurances that it succeeded to secure the vaccines,” Hirsch added.
Back in November, Palestinian Minister of Health Mai Alkaila met with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNRWA and Palestinian health and finance officials, announcing that the PA would “submit the necessary documents to the WHO and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) to ensure that Palestine is provided with adequate coronavirus vaccines.”
That was followed on December 12 with the announcement that the PA signed a deal with Russia for four million doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine, and last week, on Jan. 9, the PA announced they were getting two million more doses from the British company AstraZeneca.
“Now, after two months, the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs changed tunes and launched a demonization campaign against Israel, accusing Israel of racism and what they called ‘health apartheid,’ because Palestinians are not being vaccinated by Israel,” Hirsch said.
“The PA policy of blaming Israel for all its failures is so recurring that even Palestinians make fun of it,” he added. “Years ago, a satirical PA TV program mocked the PA for blaming all its failures on Israel – even husbands blaming the ‘occupation’ when they were unfaithful to their wives.”