nazi jews, fuck you

Israel uses vaccines as bargaining chips
Maureen Clare Murphy, Electronic Intifada, Feb 16 2021

A health-care worker in Gaza handles COVID-19 test supplies in Sep 2020.
Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun/ActiveStills

Earlier this month, Tor Wennesland, the UN secretary-general’s new Middle East peace envoy, tweeted his appreciation to the Israeli government for facilitating “the Palestinian COVID-19 response effort, including vaccines delivery.”

His praise for Israel, however, was without merit and premature. On Monday, the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank said that Israel was preventing the transfer of 2k COVID-19 vaccine doses to front-line medical workers in the Gaza Strip. Under a severely tightened Israeli blockade since 2007, the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on the planet. The 2m Palestinians living there have not yet received any vaccines. An Israeli official told AP that the transfer of vaccines to Gaza, where more than 530 people have died from COVID-19, was under review. Some MKs have called for the transfer of vaccines to be conditioned on concessions from Hamas authorities in Gaza. Israeli officials have repeatedly sought to condition basic humanitarian needs in Gaza, like fuel for electricity generation, on forcing concessions from Hamas.

MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh grotesquely characterized conditioning the transfer of vaccines as “a new paradigm based on reciprocity.” Yet there is nothing reciprocal in a relationship between an occupier and the population it occupies. There is no reciprocity between a colonizer and the people subjected to its coercive rule. As the occupying power, Israel is responsible for “public health and hygiene in the occupied territory,” as stated in article 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. That article also makes “particular reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics.” Not only has Israel refused to abide by its obligations, but it is also now undercutting the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to get the vaccine to medical workers in Gaza. Putting a civilian population under pressure to extract demands like some Israeli lawmakers are intent on doing, a policy that underpins the siege on Gaza as a whole, is an act of collective punishment. Collective punishment is a violation of article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, a war crime.

Israel meanwhile withholds the remains of Palestinians killed during what it claims were attacks, intending to use them as bargaining chips in negotiations. That too is a violation of international law championed by top officials and approved by Israel’s highest court. Instead of praising non-existent collective action to stymie the spread of COVID-19, UN envoy Wennesland should be condemning Israel for harming Palestinian public health efforts. The failure of the UN’s political wing to hold Israel to account, and it has actually undermined accountability efforts from other bodies in the global organization, only allows these abuses to proliferate. Wennesland appears intent to carry on the work of his predecessor Nikolai Mladenov, who treated Palestinian rights as subject to negotiation while demanding nothing from Israel. Mladenov welcomed, if not advocated for, normalization agreements between Israel and authoritarian Arab states as advancements of regional peace, though they do nothing to secure Palestinian rights.

The delay of the transfer of vaccines to Gaza is yet another reminder that the coastal enclave remains under occupation and complete Israeli control. Israeli claims that the request to transfer vaccines was “still being examined” will be familiar to medical patients in Gaza whose access to life-saving treatment is delayed, sometimes indefinitely, under the same pretext. Palestinian human rights groups have long decried Israel’s “apartheid regime of systematic racial domination and oppression over all Palestinians.” Over decades this regime “has led to the fragmentation and de-development of the healthcare system of the occupied Palestinian territory,” particularly in Gaza. They warn, as have others, that Israel’s siege has “pushed Gaza’s health-care system to the brink of collapse.” By applauding Israel in the context of Palestinian COVID-19 efforts, Wennesland seems to be in willful denial. To be fair, willful denial may be part of his job description, which requires him to continue to advocate for a two-state solution under the Oslo negotiations framework. That framework was designed nearly three decades ago to fail to secure Palestinian rights. Like his predecessor, Wennesland has so far remained conspicuously silent as the International Criminal Court inches towards opening war crimes investigations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

That court’s prosecutor likely has the names of Israeli leaders who author policies of collective punishment and the high-ranking officials responsible for other war crimes. Let’s hope that the ICC, a court of last resort, won’t look the other way.

Covid-19 vaccine: Gaza to receive first batch of Russian-made Sputnik V
Middle East Eye, Feb 17 2021

A medical worker inside Gaza holds up swabs collected of potential covid-19 patients (AFP)

The besieged Gaza Strip is scheduled to receive its first batch of Covid-19 vaccines on Wednesday, after delivery had been delayed by Israel. One thousand Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines will be transferred via the Beitunia crossing between the occupied West Bank through Israel to the Gaza’s Erez crossing. The vaccines, donated by Russia, will be given to health workers inside the besieged territory. Earlier this week, Israel admitted to delaying the transfer of the vaccine for political reasons. COGAT, the military office in charge of Israeli affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories, told AFP that the Palestinian Authority (PA) had requested to transfer 1k vaccine doses to Gaza, but that “this request is waiting for a political decision.” Citing Israeli sources, AFP reported that allowing the transfer from the West Bank to Gaza was not a simple administrative measure under the purview of Cogat, but rather a political decision possibly linked to talks between Israel and Hamas, the political group de facto governing the Gaza Strip since 2007. The PA also accused Israel of blocking the vaccine delivery from the West Bank after it requested the transfer to Gaza. Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said Israel bore “full responsibility” for blocking the shipment. Kaila said in a statement on Monday:

These doses were intended for medical staff working in intensive care rooms designated for Covid-19 patients, and staff working in emergency departments.

Only half of the 2k doses are reportedly to be transferred to Gaza on Wednesday. The PA began its first vaccinations, administered to front-line health-care workers, at the start of the month with an initial procurement of 10k doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, as well as Moderna doses supplied by Israel. But rollout of the vaccine in the West Bank was delayed due to holdups in deliveries. However, the PA which has limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, said it will share its limited vaccine supply with the coastal enclave. Gaza has reported more than 53k cases and at least 537 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Israel, which is carrying out one of the world’s fastest vaccination campaigns per capita, has faced international criticism for not sharing its vaccination supplies with Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and Israeli-blockaded Gaza. Amid the criticism, earlier this month Israel sent the PA 5k doses to be administered in the occupied West Bank, where nearly 3m Palestinians reside.

3 Comments

  1. avram
    Posted February 17, 2021 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I see your point but Hamas is doing the same thing by holding on to corpses. The leaders of Hamas receive tons of money from Iran etc. Now they have become the new Saudiya that a woman to go out needs a chaperone.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted February 17, 2021 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    It’s too late, Avram. I have lost my long-time infatuation with the zionist entity and its bright-eyed females. I have fallen in love with a dark-eyed temptress from far away, who is a fervent anti-zionist.

  3. avram
    Posted February 18, 2021 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    If she is in the physical, I am happy for you.

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