A shipment of 20,000 Russian coronavirus vaccine doses donated by the United Arab Emirates are on their way to the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials say.
The shots were reportedly sent at the initiative of Mohammad Dahlan, an exiled Fatah official who lives in Abu Dhabi. Dahlan is a key rival of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas,
Former PA Health Minister Jawad al-Tibi, who directs health affairs in Dahlan’s breakaway Fatah faction, tells The Times of Israel that the vaccines arrived in the UAE seven days ago. They were supposed to be transferred into Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, but have yet to cross due to the inclement weather.
Hamas health official Munir al-Bursh confirms the reports to The Times of Israel, but says there is not yet a definite deadline for the vaccines’ arrival.
“We’re in discussions with the Democratic Reform Current at this moment,” al-Bursh say in a phone call, referring to Dahlan’s movement.