Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
Gazan police and medical workers inspect the shipment of Russian Sputnik V vaccine. Feb. 17, 2021

A public outcry on the Palestinian Authority street is growing following what is being dubbed as “vaccine protection” – the inoculation of officials with connections, ahead of  those who really need them.

PA Arab activists are demanding that senior Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health members resign, as out of 12,000 vaccines received by the PA so far, only bureaucrats and security officials close to PA chief Mahmoud Abbas and the prime minister were vaccinated, including members of the PLO executive committee over the age of 65, ambassadors, election commissioners and the national football team.

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The director general of the “Aman” organization for human rights in the Palestinian Authority, Azzam Hussein, says that information his organization has collected indicates that the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Sports, the Radio and Television Authority, the Civil Affairs Authority and security officials have been given priority over groups that need the vaccines as defined by the Ministry of Health, and is demanding that the government disclose the names of all those who have received the vaccine.

A Palestinian Authority Arab source claims to have seen the family of Hussein al-Sheikh, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Civil Affairs, including his three sons and his wife, while receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Hugo Chavez Hospitalin Turmus Ayya, north of Ramallah. The witness told TPS that at least half of the ministry’s staff, who were responsible for coordinating the receipt of the vaccines from Israel, were vaccinated.

Criticism of the transfer of 200 vaccine doses from the PA to the Kingdom of Jordan is also mounting.

The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar claims that senior Palestinian Authority officials have recently approached the Jordanian King’s office to coordinate the transfer of vaccines for Abu Mazen’s family members, including his wife Amina, children, and grandchildren.

In Nablus, it is claimed that a warehouse of the Ministry of Health where vaccine doses were stored became a “black market” for the sale of vaccines and the price of a vaccine dose has reached NIS 500.

It should be noted that the Authority also transferred 2,000 doses of the vaccine to the Gaza Strip.

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Baruch reports on Arab affairs for TPS.