A shipment of 20,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine are expected to arrive in the coming days to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and without Israeli involvement, the Palestinian Authority announced Thursday.
The Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines will be transfered to Gaza through Egypt by the UAE.
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On Wednesday, Israel allowed the transfer of 1,000 Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines through the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Gaza – the first batch of vaccines to have arrived in the Strip. The vaccines were donated by Russia and transferred from the Beitunia border crossing in the West Bank with the approval of the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh announced Thursday that the shipment was donated by the UAE with the aim of aiding the citizens of Gaza during this critical stage of the pandemic. Shtayyeh said that the distribution of the vaccines will prioritize Gaza medical officials, the elderly and the sick.
Former Fatah official Mahammed Dahlan, who currently lives in the UAE and is considered to be close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayid, confirmed that the shipment includes 20,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. Dahlan added that he is committed to aiding the citizens of Gaza by providing them with additional doses of the vaccine. Dahlan refrained from mentioning the Palestinian Authority or Hamas in his statement.