Israel Denies Palestine Access to the COVID Vaccine

Jannah Al Defaaei, Writer

Israel received doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020 and denied Palestine access to the vaccines. Israeli-Palestinian reactions have been complicated for years, and the tension continues to grow.

More than half of Palestine has been occupied by Israel, to the point where Palestine relies on Israel for many resources such as food and water. Israel and the US are allies, so it is no surprise that they are one of the first countries to obtain the vaccine. However, many are questioning Israel’s distribution of the vaccine.

Under international humanitarian law, Israel is required to maintain “the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory, with particular reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics”, from Article 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Israeli government has not formulated a plan regarding the distribution of the vaccine among Israel and Palestine.

Many believe that “Israeli authorities must ensure that vaccines are equally provided to the Palestinians living under their control, in order to meet their obligations under international law,” Saleh Higazi said. 

However, seeing as Israel has the US as an ally, which that alone expands their support, and Palestine having allies that can not truly support the nation, many turn a blind eye to the conflict at hand.

Many view this as “Israel’s COVID-19 vaccine programmed highlights the institutionalized discrimination that defines the Israeli government’s policy towards Palestinians,” Saleh Higazi said.

Tensions between Israel and Palestine escalate. This news has gotten buried under more popular and national news, however that does not change the fact that it is happening.