False Palestinian charges with regard to the COVID-19 vaccines is a modern-day form of a blood libel, Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told the United Nations 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.
He spoke after Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Malki accused Israel of not providing the Palestinians with vaccines when addressing the UNSC during its monthly meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"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 PA made the same accusation at the WHO Executive Board meeting on Tuesday.
Erdan told the Security Council that "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."
The PA, he explained, "informed Israel they intend to purchase vaccines from the Russian government and Israel has announced it will facilitate their transfer. These are the facts."
In addition, Erdan explained, "since the outset of the pandemic, Israel has worked closely with UN bodies to assist the Palestinians, training medical staff and supplying them with essential equipment.
"Anyone who joins the Palestinian campaign of lies either doesn’t know the facts or is motivated by politics or antisemitism," the ambassador said.
He noted that the charges were made on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
"There is a long history of using every crisis to spread antisemitism and blame the Jews," he explained.
"I hope that on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the members of this council will check the facts and not allow this bigoted tradition to continue," Erdan said.