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Vaccine Apartheid? Occupation in the time of COVID-19 (Eventbrite)

Join Palestine Deep Dive for our first live show of 2021 in which we dive into the vaccine situation for Palestinians enduring Israel's occupation during COVID-19. 2pm ET // 7pm UK // 9pm Palestine.

Dr Mustafa Barghouti is a medical doctor, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, former Palestinian minister and President of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

Dr Yara Asi is a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the University of Central Florida, a Fulbright US Scholar for 2020-21 and an Al-Shabaka Policy Member.

Read below Dr Mustafa's article featured in today's New York Times.

GO DEEPER: VACCINE APARTHEID?

Israel’s Vaccination Drive Is Going Great. But We’re Being Sidelined (The New York Times)

Dr Mustafa Barghouti writes: "While Israel has a plan to inoculate all of its citizens in the next few months, it is leaving Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to fend for themselves."

"Gaza and the West Bank are suffering from a serious coronavirus outbreak. There have been more than 165,900 infections and 1,756 deaths in the two territories. More than 1,800 new cases are registered a day. The rate of infection in the two areas is 30 percent among those who are tested, in comparison with 7.4 percent in Israel."

"Granted, Arabs living in Israel proper who hold Israeli citizenship are being vaccinated. But Israel also made a commitment in the Oslo accords to work with the Palestinians to combat epidemics, so it has a moral obligation to supply vaccines in the West Bank and Gaza."

"Instead, it has so far dismissed a request by the World Health Organization and the Palestinian Authority, the self-governing body in the West Bank, to provide up to 10,000 vaccine doses for Palestinian frontline workers."

"The Israeli government’s decision to make the vaccine available only to Israeli citizens is not just a moral injustice, it is self-defeating. Herd immunity will not be achieved for Israelis without vaccinating Palestinians. There are more than 130,000 Palestinians working in Israel and the settlements, and hundreds of thousands of Israelis travel between Israeli settlements or engage in military activities in the occupied Palestinian territories."

"When we received our medical degrees, I and other doctors swore an oath to not discriminate. Medicine and medical care should not treat some patients as less worthy of treatment. Such an approach violates the values and integrity of the medical profession and hurts everyone — including Israelis."
After the Trump Insurrection – TyskySour (Novara Media)

Michael Walker interviews Dr Yara Asi.

Dr Yara Asi: “Yes the Oslo Accords were signed in the mid-90s but let’s remember that the Oslo Accords are meant to be a five year interim agreement and so number one, sighting them almost 30 years later for a pandemic which they surely were not written to deal with is a bit disingenuous. And secondly, many of the other parts of Oslo which were meant to benefit Palestinians haven't been implemented...”

"Medical Apartheid": Israeli Vaccine Drive Excludes Millions of Palestinians in Occupied Territories (Democracy Now! via YouTube)

Amy Goodman interviews Dr Mustafa Barghouti.

"Israel has administered COVID-19 vaccines faster than any country in the world, with more than 14% of Israelis receiving vaccines so far. Despite the fast rollout, human rights groups are expressing alarm over Israel's decision not to vaccinate Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, where about 1,500 people have died during the pandemic."

Dr Mustafa: "This is the worst form of apartheid. Medical apartheid. It didn't even exist in South Africa. This is just beyond description. Imagine, you go to a prison, you vaccinate the guards but you don't vaccinate the prisoners..."

Occupation in the Time of COVID-19: Holding Israel Accountable for Palestinian Health (Al-Shabaka)

Dr Yara Asi writes: "As discussed above, Israel’s blockade on Gaza and restrictions in the West Bank have led to shortages of large equipment needed for advanced care, such as ventilators. By early April 2020, 80-90% of the 256 ventilators in the West Bank and the 87 in the Gaza Strip were already being used. While Israel worried that its availability of 40 ventilators per 100,000 people was insufficient, the Gaza Strip only had 3 ventilators per 100,000 people."

"Even after the onset of the pandemic, medical equipment suppliers who had worked directly with the Palestinian Ministry of Health to import goods were having trouble getting approval from Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). One had been trying to get medical equipment into Gaza, unsuccessfully, for three years."
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