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World

Israel blocks shipment of Sputnik V vaccine to the Gaza Strip

  • Israel has blocked 1000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, intended for frontline medical workers and key personnel in the tumultuous Gaza Strip.
  • The Gaza Strip has yet to any vaccines, with over 53,000 cases and 537 deaths since the start of the pandemic, and limited support in the management of this public health crisis.
Updated 16 Feb 2021

Israel has blocked 1000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, intended for frontline medical workers and key personnel in the tumultuous Gaza Strip.

In a statement on Monday, Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkaila mentioned that Israel bears "full responsibility" for blocking the vaccine shipment, which was formally acquired by the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority has stated that it will share its vaccine supply with Gaza, which is currently led by Hamas, and home to nearly two million Palestinians.

The Gaza Strip has yet to any vaccines, with over 53,000 cases and 537 deaths since the start of the pandemic, and limited support in the management of this public health crisis.

The Palestinian Authority has acquired about 2000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine.

Israel has been carrying out the world's fastest (and most effective) vaccination drives, and has faced significant international appeals to share its excess stocks as an occupying power, with Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza.

According to a statement from COGAT, the Israeli military body that runs civilian affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Palestinian Authority had requested to transfer 1000 vaccine doses to Gaza, adding that the request was "waiting for a political decision".

The military body also mentioned that An Israeli allowing the vaccine shipment through was still being debated, adding that "It wasn’t blocked. They are still contemplating it".