Vaccines against COVID-19 should not be transferred to Gaza until the bodies of two IDF soldiers held by Hamas are returned to Israel, Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked told KAN News.
"It's a shame and a disgrace that we transferred vaccines to Gaza, as long as our soldiers and our citizens are held there," Shaked said.
As far as she is concerned, Gaza can "go it alone" with respect to COVID-19.
She spoke in response to a question about reports that Israel had secretly purchased Russian Sputnik vaccines for Syria as part of the prisoner swap last week, in which a young Israeli woman was exchanged for two Syrian shepherds.
Shaked said she understood the issue was censored, adding that as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee she would ask for details.
But she indicated that it was a "humanitarian" gesture of the transference of vaccines as part of the "humanitarian" gesture of releasing the young woman.
What was unacceptable, she said, is that on the southern border, Israel has not linked the transfer of COVID-19 with the release of Israelis there.
Hamas holds the remains of Lt. Hadar Goldin and St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul, two soldiers presumed killed in the 2014 Gaza War. Hamas also holds captive two Israeli citizens: Avera Mengistu went into Gaza in September 2014 and Hisham al-Sayed entered in 2015.
Last week Israel allowed the Palestinian Authority to transfer 1,000 vaccine doses into Gaza, the first such shipment of vaccines to combat the pandemic.
It was designated for health care workers, but Shaked said she feared it had also gone to the Hamas leadership.
"I will not give aid to Gaza, including humanitarian assistance, as long as they are holding the bodies of our soldiers," she said.
Shaked underscored the point that any humanitarian gesture, such as the transference of COVID-19 vaccine, must be met with a humanitarian gesture, such as the return of the remains of two IDF soldiers and the release of the two citizens.
The equation should be "a humanitarian gesture for a humanitarian gesture," Shaked said.