Piers Morgan repeats claim Israel excluding Palestinians from Covid vaccine

Good Morning Britain presenter adds that there are 'a lot of people' in Gaza who need it


Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan has repeated the claim that Israel is excluding the Palestinians from Covid vaccinations.

Discussing the UK government’s roll-out plans for the vaccine with three guests on Wednesday’s episode of the ITV breakfast show, the former Daily Mirror editor said: “It is amazing what they are doing in Israel -  but they are not giving any to the Palestinians. “

Mr Morgan then added: “I imagine there a lot of the people on the Gaza Strip that could do with the vaccination.”

Israel has been widely praised for the success of its own Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine roll-out which has seen more than 1.5 million of its citizens receive a dose -  a higher proportion of the population than anywhere else.

The vaccine has been distributed to all Israeli citizens with the government delivering appeals to religious Jewish and Arab Muslim communities to increase their uptakes.

But reports, including one last weekend in The Observer newspaper, have falsely suggested that Israel has excluded Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza from receiving the vaccine.

The Palestinian Authority has previously confirmed that it has not approached Israel for the vaccine and instead has secured nearly four million Russian-made jabs.

A senior official from the PA’s Ministry of Health  was quoted as saying the Palestinians did not expect Israel to sell them or purchase vaccines from any other country  on their behalf.

Hamas, the Islamic terror group that has run the Gaza Strip since 2006 after throwing the PA out, has also not asked Israel for vaccinations, and is unlikely to ever do so.

The shots are due to arrive in the West Bank next month.

Under article 17 of the Oslo Accords, the PA is responsible for healthcare, including vaccines, for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel has also been vaccinating Palestinians in east Jerusalem.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein had  told The New York Times he had “no doubt” Israel would help the Palestinians in an article published last week.

Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge revealed she had been targeted by people complaining about Israel’s vaccine programme.

She tweeted on Wednesday:”Why would you write to me complaining about the vaccine programme in Israel and imply I am personally responsible for its rollout...I am not an Israeli MP, an Israeli health worker or an Israeli government official. Beyond bizarre.”

Other political leaders have continued to spread the idea that Israel is excluding Palestinians from the vaccine it has purchased.

In Ireland, the Green Party’s  Patrick Costello said: "In the West Bank, the vaccination drive includes only those living in Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law, and not their Palestinian neighbours.

"Much like the building of the settlements themselves, the Israeli vaccine program in occupied Palestine falls short of the standards required by international law."

Charlie Angus and Leah Gazan of Canada's left-wing New Democratic Party both repeated the misleading reports.

The former called Israel an apartheid state and the latter said Israel was "excluding people from being vaccinated based on discriminatory decisions and a clear violation of human rights.”

Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter, a longtime critic of Israel, said in a TV interview the "UK and Israel, as well as Russia and China, are vaccinating people with vaccines that are not of the same standard as the ones we use."


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