Jordan’s King Abdullah II says Israel’s failure to provide vaccines to Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza Strip is counterproductive for the Jewish state.
“The Israelis have had a very successful rollout of the vaccine; however, the Palestinians have not,” Abdullah tells the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“You cannot vaccinate one part of your society and not the other and think that you are going to be safe,” he says via videoconference. “That is the number one lesson that COVID-19 taught us.”
Israel launched its vaccination drive a month ago. Since then nearly 2.8 million of its nine-million population have received a first shot, with half of that number already getting the second dose too.
Earlier this month the Palestine Liberation Organization urged the international community “to hold Israel to account” and ensure that it provides vaccines to all Palestinians living under Israeli control.
Abdullah says that the novel coronavirus “does not care about borders, the rich or the poor or whoever.”
“We have got to look at the practicalities and the challenges that are ahead of us, to be able to communicate with each other and realize that we are one world, one small village,” he says.
Israel says that under the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians are responsible for immunizations in the West Bank. Gaza, meanwhile, is controlled by the Hamas terror group.