Why the PA scrapped the initial vaccine deal with Israel - analysis


Staff member
Why the PA scrapped the initial vaccine deal with Israel - analysis
As far as the PA leadership is concerned, the blunder could not have come at a worse time.
JUNE 20, 2021

The Palestinian Authority’s hasty decision on Friday to cancel the initial Pfizer vaccine-exchange deal with Israel came shortly after a public outcry, particularly on social media, over the expiration date of the doses. The strong reactions of the Palestinian public prompted PA Health Minister Mai Alkaila and the PA government’s spokesman, Ibrahim Milhem, to hold an urgent press conference to explain the circumstances surrounding the “vaccine scandal.”

The deal has been canceled, the PA officials announced, adding that the 90,000 doses the PA received earlier in the day would be returned to Israel. The PA was not aware that the vaccines would expire soon, they said. Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the PA General Authority of Civil Affairs, which serves as a liaison between the Palestinians and Israel, distanced himself from the deal. Responding to claims that he was behind the deal with Israel, Sheikh wrote on Twitter: “Some media outlets have circulated false news on the vaccine from Israel. The Civil Affairs has nothing to do with this file, and it is not within its responsibilities.”

On Sunday, the PA Health Ministry spoke about revising the deal. But many Palestinians continued to call for the formation of an independent commission of inquiry to look into the fiasco surrounding the vaccine agreement. The “scandal” was yet another sign of rampant corruption and lack of transparency and accountability in the PA, they said.

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