IslamNews – Senator Bernie Sanders, along with other members of Congress, has criticized Israel for for sending COVID-19 vaccines to foreign allies before sending them to Palestinians.
“As the occupying power, Israel is responsible for the health of all the people under its control,” said Sanders on Twitter. “It is outrageous that Netanyahu would use spare vaccines to reward his foreign allies while so many Palestinians in the occupied territories are still waiting.”
Sanders was referring to reports that Israel will give a small number of surplus vaccine doses to friendly countries, including Hungary and Guatemala. Israel is leading the world in per capita vaccine doses administered. However, the Palestinian territories have had a much slower rollout, hence Sanders’ tweet. Reps. Jamaal Bowman of New York and Marie Newman of Illinois have also voiced similar criticisms of Israel in recent weeks.
Human rights groups believe Israel has a responsibility to vaccinate all residents of the Palestinian territories. Israel has not stated it is responsible for this. Netanyahu’s son Yair responded to Sanders’ tweet, saying that Hamas-run Gaza also has a border with Egypt and is therefore not dependent on Israel. He also repeated Israeli assertions that the Oslo Accord gives the Palestinian Authority control over civil issues in the territories.