West Bank Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh is appealing to the international community to deliver promised vaccines against COVID-19. His office says the prime minister on Tuesday urged friendly countries and companies, as well as the World Health Organization, to “fulfill their obligations to us.”
According to news agencies, Shtayyeh says U.N. deliveries expected this month through COVAX, the WHO-backed program to assist poorer nations, are now delayed. The virus has surged through the West Bank and Gaza Strip and Israel has come under significant international criticism for giving its own population vaccines without doing the same for Palestinians. This week, the government began vaccinating Palestinian laborers who work in Israel.
However, that effort will only vaccinate a small percentage of the roughly 5 million Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and blockaded Gaza Strip. Israel says under past peace accords, it is not responsible for vaccinating the Palestinian populations in those areas. Human rights groups say Israel remains an occupying power with an obligation to assist the Palestinians. Associated press reported.