Jordan’s King Abdullah II exhorts Israel to vaccinate Palestinians

The Palestinian Authority has made contradictory statements blasting Israel for not providing vaccines while insisting that it plans to purchase the vaccines on its own.

Jordan's King Abdullah speaks during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (photo credit: REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN)
Jordan's King Abdullah speaks during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
(photo credit: REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN)
Jordan’s King Abdullah II stated on Thursday that Israel not providing vaccines to Palestinians in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip was counterproductive for the Jewish state, AFP reported.
“The Israelis have had a very successful rollout of the vaccine, however the Palestinians have not,” Abdullah told the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“You cannot vaccinate one part of your society and not the other and think that you are going to be safe,” he said via videoconference. “That is the number one lesson that COVID-19 taught us,” adding that the novel coronavirus “does not care about borders, the rich or the poor or whoever.”

“We have got to look at the practicalities and the challenges that are ahead of us, to be able to communicate with each other and realize that we are one world, one small village,” he said.

Israel, that has already administered 4.6 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine since the start of the pandemic, has been criticized for not directly providing vaccines to the Palestinians living under PA auspices, a move that would appear to violate the principle of PA self-governance set up under the 1993 and 1995 Oslo Accords.
The PA itself has made contradictory statements blasting Israel for not providing vaccines while at the same time insisting that it plans to purchase the vaccines on its own. It has signed contracts for vaccines, including from Russia, but none have arrived.
PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki told the UNSC on Tuesday that “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.”
Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told the Security Council that the PA had “informed Israel they intend to purchase vaccines from the Russian government, and Israel has announced it will facilitate their transfer. These are the facts.”
Earlier in the month, US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib called Israel a "racist state" and falsely claimed that Israel was denying access to coronavirus vaccines to Palestinians in an interview with the left-wing news program Democracy Now! on Tuesday.
"I mean, I think it’s really important to understand Israel is a racist state and that they would deny Palestinians, like my grandmother, access to a vaccine, that they don’t believe that she’s an equal human being that deserves to live, deserves to be able to be protected by this global pandemic," said Tlaib in the interview.
Tlaib additionally claimed that Israel prevented Palestinians from accessing testing and tracing resources, preventative measures and medication.
"They have the power to distribute that vaccine to the Palestinian people, their own neighbors, again, feet away from where they live, many of which, again, could expose them and their family," said Tlaib in the interview with Democracy Now! "And it doesn’t — if anything, it just reiterates what the Palestinian people and even human rights groups have been telling us, is that this is an apartheid state."
Despite the claims by Tlaib that Israel was blocking aid to Palestinians, Israel has provided and facilitated the delivery of international contributions of medical supplies since the beginning of the pandemic, including testing supplies and ventilators.
Tovah Lazaroff and Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.