Abu Dhabi: The Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates demanded Saturday that Israel provide COVID-19 vaccines to the Palestinians, as it is one of its duties as an "occupation force", according to the German news agency.
The ministry said, in a statement, that "among the duties of Israel, the occupying power, is to provide vaccines against coronavirus to the Palestinian people, at a time when it provides these vaccines to its citizens and ignores its duties as an occupying power."
The ministry considered that Israel practices "racial discrimination" against the Palestinian people, deny them their right to health, tries to exempt itself from its duties and places full responsibility on the Palestinian government.
The ministry added that "the Palestinian leadership’s search for vaccines from its various sources does not exempt Israel from its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people in providing vaccines based on its duties, as sanctioned in the rules of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions."
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community to pressure Israel to shoulder its responsibilities, especially Article 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which affirmed that the occupying power has a duty to ensure "the adoption and implementation of the necessary preventive measures to combat the spread of infectious diseases and epidemics."
Earlier on Saturday, the Palestinian Minister of Health, Mai Al Keela, stated that there is no specific date for the arrival of the coronavirus vaccine in Palestine.
Al Keela stated in a statement that the vaccine is likely to arrive during the first quarter of this year, noting that the ministry has contracted with four companies producing the vaccine, so that these vaccines cover a total of 70 per cent of Palestinians.
In addition to that the World Health Organisation will provide the ministry with vaccines enough for20 per cent of the population.
The Palestinian Territories recorded more than 160,000 coronavirus infections, and 1,735 deaths, since the outbreak of the pandemic.