The first batch of 1,000 covid-19 vaccines will be sent to the Gaza Strip, Israeli officials said on Wednesday, who had blocked supplies to Palestinian territory.
“This morning, Wednesday, mil vacinas Sputnik-V offered by Russia (…) have been transferred by the Palestinian Authority to the Gaza Strip, ”said Cogat, the Israeli body responsible for civilian operations in the Palestinian territories.
“Vaccines are about to cross the Erez border,” which separates Israeli territory from the Palestinian enclave, the same department said.
On Monday, the Palestinian authorities accused Israel of block to entrance of a first shipment of vaccines they were trying to send from the West Bank, which were destined for health professionals working on the front lines of the fight against the new coronavirus.
At the time, a source for the Israeli security apparatus, which asked to remain anonymous, said that the vaccines were not blocked, but that the request by the Palestinian authorities to release doses of Sputnik V to Gaza “was still being assessed”.
Israeli deputies called for the delivery of vaccines to be conditional on the return of two civilians to the territory and the bodies of two soldiers stranded in the Gaza Strip, territory under the command of the Hamas group. Non-governmental organizations have accused Israel of imposing a “collective punishment” and not fulfilling “legal and moral obligations”.
Blocked by land, sea and air since 2007, the Palestinian enclave has only one goods crossing point, controlled by Israel.
So far, the impact of the pandemic on the Palestinian enclave has killed 538 people and 55,000 cases have been reported, of which about 2,300 remain active. The authorities fear a new spike in infections. Israel, in turn, is the biggest success case in the world when it comes to vaccinating its population.