IslamNews – Palestinians received 40,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine on Thursday, a donation by the United Arab Emirates that could boost a long-time rival of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of an election, As Reuters reported
Mohammad Dahlan, who fell out with Abbas and was dismissed from the president’s Fatah party more than a decade ago, took credit for securing the shipment to Gaza from the UAE, where he lives in exile.
In a potential challenge to Abbas, Dahlan has announced plans to field a list of candidates he dubs “Fatah reformists” in a parliamentary election scheduled for May.
The vaccine shipment brought to 60,000 the number of Sputnik V doses that Dahlan has obtained for Palestinians since February, outpacing official Palestinian authorities.
Dahlan, in a statement, said the latest doses “aim to afford protection for our courageous medical teams and people with priority … particularly the elderly and those suffering from certain (chronic) diseases”.
He said half of the new shipment would be allocated to Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Abbas’s Palestinian Authority has limited self-rule.
It was not immediately clear whether Abbas would accept the donation and if so whether Israel would allow the vaccines to be transferred from Hamas Islamist-run Gaza to the West Bank through its territory.
Gaza has registered more than 56,000 COVID-19 cases with 564 deaths among a population of two million.