Friday, June 18, 2021

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Palestinianism opening up new Nazi front against Jews
Furthermore, both the Palestinian cause and Palestinian “identity” itself are based on the attempted theft and appropriation of the historic homeland and history of the Jews— the indigenous people of the land of Israel.

So it’s not just that the demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel are fundamentally anti-Jew. What’s not properly understood is that Palestinianism is antisemitism.

Western liberals who support the Palestinian cause are supporting a profoundly anti-Jewish agenda, not only to steal the land of the Jewish people but to wipe out their history and thus their identity.

Far more ominously, this is also the passionately held default narrative for millions of Muslims who have settled in Britain and other western countries.

As they become more assimilated, and their children enter the professions and political life — in itself a welcome development in terms of social acceptance — they are unfortunately seeding this poisonous narrative throughout British society.

A lethal obsession once confined to the far left is now gaining enormous cultural traction through the number of British Muslims developing public influence (with the sterling exception of those few British Muslims who take a brave and principled public stand against Jew-hatred). But anyone who dares point this out is denounced as a racist and Islamophobe.

This strategy of cultural manipulation and intimidation threatens to push British politicians into hostility towards Israel. It is actively imperilling the security of British Jews. And it is undermining the integrity and values of Britain itself, as its cultural leaders increasingly kow-tow to its dictates through ignorance, ideology or fear. And America is going in the same direction.

Palestinianism is no longer just about the Middle East. It’s now providing cultural rocket boosters behind both antisemitism and Islamisation in the west.
The Mossad chief got it wrong
Former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen is not naive. As one might expect, he is suspicious by nature and cynical due to his vocation.

Yet, in his first interview after leaving the intelligence agency, he conceded that he wrongly assessed that Hamas was looking for some sort of deal with Israel. He even revealed his almost-theological mistake, saying, “I wanted to believe” and “I believed wholeheartedly.”

He explained: “I thought we had an arrangement. I wanted to believe that because of all the effort we put into bringing about times of peace that we desperately need here [in Israel] and there [in Gaza]. … I admit I believed, wholeheartedly believed that if the residents of the Gaza Strip saw their wellbeing improve … their motivation for crises and wars would decrease. It seems I was wrong. I was wrong.” Jews have been making this mistake for over a century. In the early statehood years, Moshe Sharett, who would become the second prime minister of Israel, explained that Zionism was built entirely on national consciousness, not on getting Jews to feel that they are better off. Yet, when it came to Arabs that lived in Israel, it expected them to voice their opinions on the economy and progress, entirely ignoring the national problem.

“We said: We are bringing them a blessing. … We expected them to sell their national birthright in this land for the proverbial mess of socioeconomic pottage. … There is an assumption, explicit or not, that since the Arabs are in an economically, socially and culturally disadvantageous position, they only focus on sustenance and on the mundane … [that] they have no understanding of national values. [Such an argument] gives rise to negative inclinations that stem from the insulting feeling that we see them as inferior human beings, who are not enthused over national identity and all they seek is food and medical services,” he said.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Israel must return to sanity on Gaza
According to Yigal Carmon, the president and cofounder of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Hamas’ success is so extensive that it has "managed to limit the IDF's capabilities, and turn every Israeli military victory into another political loss."

The real challenge facing Prime Minister Natali Bennett’s nascent government is to change this worrying paradigm.

Currently, the hundreds of thousands of Israelis in the south live in constant fear due to Hamas, with only an occasional reprieve from the rocket fire and arson attacks to provide any comfort and peace of mind.

Apparently though, this dreadful existence is not enough to convince Israel’s decision-makers that they have to deal with the challenge of Hamas.

When Western armies confront organizations such as the Taliban and ISIS, they know it is imperative they avoid harming the civilian population as much as possible.

The IDF must take even more care to avoid civilian casualties, given the fact that every Palestinian child who tragically dies in such confrontations (and even some who do not) eventually winds up on the front page of The New York Times.

A French president or German chancellor would never demand that the U.S. halt its operations against the Taliban because of civilian casualties. They are content, however, to do just that when it comes to Israel - and the U.S president may even join them in their demand. Some might call this discrimination or even anti-Semitism, but it is nonetheless the reality in which we live - and Hamas’ primary power in its war on Israel.

In order to effectively tackle this challenge, Israel cannot return to the policies of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who allowed Qatar to transfer huge sums to Gaza every month and without oversight.

Turkish Govt Sponsors ‘Conference on Palestine’ Hosted by Activist Convicted by US Court of Aiding Terror Group
The Turkish government is co-sponsoring a conference initiated and hosted by Sami Al-Arian, who was convicted by a United States federal court for his active involvement with US-designated terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The conference, “Challenging Apartheid in Palestine: Reclaiming the Narrative, Formulating a Vision,” begins on Friday and is hosted by Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University’s Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), which is headed by Al-Arian. The six-day event is co-sponsored by the Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Turkish umbrella group, The Global Coalition for Quds and Palestine (GCQP); as well as the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies in the UK; the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver in the US; and the Afro-Middle East Centre (AMEC) in South Africa.

The conference’s theme is “how to challenge and dismantle the racist system of structural colonization and control in the historical land of Palestine,” and it seeks to explore “how to empower people — in Palestine and around the world — toward ending the Israeli apartheid system in Palestine,” according to CIGA’s website.

Commenting on the Turkish regime’s co-sponsorship of the conference, leading French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy told The Algemeiner, “This proves how irresponsible and frivolous those are who, here or there, speak of a possible reconciliation between Israel and the Turkey of [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan; and how ignorant those are who don’t understand that this Turkey (of Erdogan) is a merciless enemy of the United States, of Europe and of democracies in general.”

“Turkey must be expelled from NATO,” Lévy said.

Al-Arian, a former University of South Florida professor, pled guilty in 2006 to conspiring to make or receive contributions of funds, goods, or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He was sentenced to 57 months in prison on terrorism charges for financing the militant Islamist group, and was deported to Turkey in 2015 as part of that plea agreement.

NGO Monitor: HRW, Other NGOs Join "Apartheid" Event, Along with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, PFLP
As Human Rights Watch (HRW)’s campaigns targeting Israel have become even more intense, its representatives are also participating in events sponsored by groups and individuals tied to internationally designated terrorist organizations.

HRW Israel and Palestine Director Omar Shakir is scheduled to participate in conference, “Challenging Apartheid in Palestine: Reclaiming the Narrative, Formulating A Vision” (June 18-23), hosted by the Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University. Conference organizers and sponsors, as well as other participants, are linked to various terror groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Additionally, several other panelists represent pro-BDS NGOs, an agenda that Shakir and HRW have long championed, in both principle and in practice.

Mohammed Akram al Adlouni
- Al Adlouni is the executive director for the The Global Coalition for Quds and Palestine (GCQP) – one of the sponsors of the conference. Al Adlouni is listed as a speaker.
- Previously, he served as the secretary-general of the Al-Quds International Foundation, from at least 2005–2010.1 As of September 2020, al Adlouni was identified as a member of the organization’s board. In October 2012, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against the organization, noting that it “exist[s] to support the families of Hamas fighters and prisoners and to raise money for programs and projects in the Palestinian territories intended to spread Hamas’s influence and control.”
- The Treasury Department statement elaborated, “Al-Quds was established in 2001 in Beirut by members of Hamas in order to raise funds for Hamas projects in Jerusalem through the cover of charity. Hamas’s leadership runs all of the foundation’s affairs through Hamas members who serve on the Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors, and other administrative committees. All documents, plans, budgets, and projects of Al-Quds are drafted by Hamas officials. Several senior Hamas officials, including Specially Designated Global Terrorists Musa Abu-Marzuq and Usama Hamdan, served on Al-Quds’ Board of Trustees. Representatives at an Al-Quds conference were told to consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Hamas in their respective countries.”
- Al Adlouni regularly meets with Hamas leadership, including a September 2020 meeting with Ismail Haniyeh, and a June 2021 meeting with Khaled Mashal. Similarly, in May 2021, al Adlouni moderated an online gathering featuring Mashal, on behalf of GCQP.
- Al Adlouni appears in a photo as part of a June 2021 article about Hamas’ foreign leadership council.
Caroline Glick: How To Understand Naftali Bennett's New Government
As a general principle, it is a source of grave concern any time a parliamentary governing coalition is beholden to minor parties. But in the case of Ra'am, the problem is quite literally one of existential proportions.

Ra'am rejects Israel's right to exist. And from the outset of his coalition negotiations with Lapid and Bennett, Abbas used his king-making power to compel Bennett and Lapid to agree to policies that undermine Israel's sovereignty and Jewish national character.

To bring Ra'am into their coalition, Lapid and Bennett agreed to grant effective autonomy to the Bedouin in the Negev and the Arab-Israeli communities in the Galilee. Autonomy was granted in two ways. First, Lapid and Bennett agreed to effectively end the enforcement of Israel's planning and zoning laws in these communities, thus rendering them self-governing Arab enclaves inside of Israel.

Second, the coalition deal involves the practical ceding of state lands the size of Israel's 10 largest cities to illegal Bedouin settlements in the Negev. According to Regavim, an Israeli nonprofit group that monitors illegal Arab building, Bedouin in the Negev have built roughly 80,000 illegal structures. Lapid and Bennett agreed to legitimize much of the land theft and reward the Bedouin for their criminal behavior by building new towns for them, courtesy of Israeli taxpayers.

Just before the Lapid-Bennett coalition was approved by the Knesset, Abbas gave a speech in Arabic at the Knesset podium wherein he pledged: "We will restore the lands that were stolen from our people."

Which lands? In a 2018 speech, Abbas made clear that in keeping with Muslim Brotherhood ideology, he means all of Israel: "Since [Israel's founding in] 1948, the Palestinian people have lived in a continuous disaster that was created by Zionist terror gangs."

Abbas has also repeatedly denied Jewish history in Jerusalem, the holiest city in Judaism. He has denied that a Jewish Temple ever stood on the Temple Mount. On Tuesday, ahead of a nationalist parade through Jerusalem, Abbas condemned the planned parade—which involved Israeli Jews walking through their capital city waving flags—in the harshest terms. "The flag parade in Jerusalem today is an unbridled provocation—its main characteristic is hateful shouts and incitement of violence in an effort to inflame the region for political purposes," he said.

Since his government depends on keeping Abbas happy, Bennett has no power to condemn him for such hateful, incendiary remarks.
Caroline Glick: New government, new threats
The day after Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett formed their government, Biden administration officials threw a diplomatic hand grenade at them. Monday administration officials told reporters "unofficially" that US President Joe Biden intends to appoint Hady Amr, his Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and the Palestinians to serve as US Consul General to the Palestinians – in Jerusalem.

To deploy Amr to Israel's capital as consul, the administration will first need to open a consulate in Jerusalem. In accordance with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1996, the Trump administration closed the consulate and turned the building into the Ambassador's Residence following the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem in 2019. And under the Vienna Convention, the US must ask Israel to permit the opening of the consulate and accredit the head of mission.

The administration's decision to deploy Amr to Jerusalem as ambassador-in-everything-but-name to a hostile, non-Israeli entity is a double assault on Israel. First, the sends the clear message that the Biden administration supports the division of Israel's capital. Second, by sending Amr specifically to Jerusalem, the administration is making clear that it intends to legitimize and work with Hamas.

Before joining the administration, Amr was a fellow at the Qatar-funded Brookings Institution. He was the founding director of the Brookings Institution in Doha. And from Brookings, Amr wrote and spoke in favor of legitimizing the Iranian-sponsored Muslim Brotherhood terror group. Amr advocated that the US work to integrate Hamas into the PLO.

The administration's now all-but-declared positions on Jerusalem and Hamas in turn strengthen Iran's position inside Palestinian society. They also legitimize the until-now unthinkable scenario in which the US supports a Hamas takeover of Judea and Samaria. The administration's deep-seated animosity towards Israeli sovereignty over unified Jerusalem makes clear as well just how hostile its positions are in relation to Israel's strategic requirements and national rights to Judea and Samaria.
Blinken, Lapid Agree on ‘No Surprises’ Policy
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday spoke with Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid for the second time since Israel’s new government was sworn in Sunday.

The top diplomats decided to adopt a “no surprises” policy, according to a statement from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

They also discussed “the need to improve Israeli-Palestinian relations in practical ways” and “shared opinions on opportunities to deepen normalization efforts as well as on regional security issues, including Iran,” the State Department said.

The State Department readout of the conversation mentioned twice the US commitment to Israel’s security.

Blinken congratulated Lapid on Israel’s new government in a phone call Sunday. Blinken also invited Lapid to visit Washington, DC, according to the Statement Department.
A-G vows to defend IDF soldiers from ICC war crimes probe
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit promised Thursday night a strong defense of IDF soldiers and other citizens should the International Criminal Court seek to try them for alleged war crimes.

Speaking at a conference at Bar-Ilan honoring retired district court judge Menachem Finklestein upon the publication of his new book on laws of war, Mandelblit threw down the gauntlet before Karim Khan, who was sworn in a day earlier as the new ICC chief prosecutor.

Khan has not yet commented on the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, but outgoing prosecutor Fatou Bensouda opened up a full criminal probe against the IDF and the settlement enterprise in March.

The attorney-general, who formerly served as the IDF’s top lawyer, said Israel is closely following international legal developments and that it will “ensure comprehensive representation and assistance… against any legal threat to the state’s citizens and soldiers.”

“The ICC lacks jurisdiction. This position was supported by key nation-states and top legal experts,” he stated.
US envoy Thomas-Greenfield balks at calling UNHRC antisemitic
US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield balked at labeling the UN Human Rights Council antisemitic at a Congressional hearing on Wednesday, despite her condemnation there of its anti-Israel bias.

“It is also appalling that the council has one standing agenda and that is Israel, when there are so many other countries committing human rights violations and we see it every day on the news,” Thomas-Greenfield said as she testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

In her role as US ambassador to the UN, she answered questions for four hours about the Biden administration’s priorities at the UN. She also told the representatives in the room that she planned to visit the Middle East in the coming months.

Many of the representatives who quizzed her focused on the UN bias against Israel, particularly at the UNHRC.

Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL) went one step further when he asked: “Is the UNHRC an antisemitic institution?”

Thomas-Greenfield, who had spoken strongly in support of Israel in her testimony, ducked the question.

“There are individual [UNHRC member] countries that are antisemitic,” she countered.
US approves replenishment of Israel's Iron Dome system - report
The United States has pledged to replenish and reinforce Israel's Iron Dome system following most recent escalation between Israel and allied terror groups in the Gaza Strip, which culminated with over 4,000 rockets being shot into Israeli territory.

Israel requested $1 billion from the United States to replenish the IDF’s inventory in early June, following the IDF's Operation Guardian of the Walls, when Defense Minister Benny Gantz will met with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to address reinforcing the Iron Dome system and Israel’s security and stability in the Middle East in a strategic dialogue.

According to N12, Austin announced during a Friday congressional session that the request for military assistance has been approved and the US will transfer the total requested amount over to Israel.

US Army General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said at a Thursday Senate hearing that the Biden administration will call on senators and representatives to approve a budget to replenish the Iron Dome system, Ynet reported.

Milley said that the administration is working on clarifying the details and that politicians should expect a special budget request in the near future.

US President Joe Biden promised to replenish Israel's supply of Iron Dome interceptors and to help rebuild the Gaza Strip in a brief address he delivered at the White House shortly after the announcement that a ceasefire had been reached to end the 11 days of Israel-Gaza conflict.
Americans for Peace Now urges conditioning of military aid to Israel
Americans for Peace Now is calling for concrete conditions on defense assistance to Israel, a first for a group that calls itself “pro-Israel” and is a member of the Jewish community’s foreign policy umbrella group, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“If the US wants to nurture peace and support international law, we must explicitly ensure that our taxpayer dollars serve our foreign policy objectives, that they do not go towards human rights violations, and that there are specific consequences if they do,” Hadar Susskind, the group’s CEO, said Wednesday in an op-ed in Time magazine. “If new settlements are legalized or existing ones expanded — these international law violations would come with specific US aid reductions.”

Until recently, assistance to Israel has been sacrosanct in the pro-Israel community and in Congress, even among Israel’s critics.

In an interview, Susskind said part of the group’s reasoning was to protect assistance to Israel in the wake of calls from some progressive Democrats during Israel’s conflict with Hamas last month to cut assistance outright.

Susskind said the Americans for Peace Now proposal would offer a path to lawmakers who were alarmed with the calls to cut aid but are no longer happy with unconditional assistance to Israel.
J Street drops bid to join Zionist umbrella group
J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group, dropped its months-long bid to join the American Zionist movement, the umbrella body for U.S. pro-Israel groups.

The Forward this week quoted J Street officials as saying their effort to join AZM last August was frustrated by conservatives in the movement’s leadership who want to keep out liberal groups.

The movement’s leadership denied any plan to keep out J Street, saying it was observing protocols and seeking to be fair to newer members of the umbrella, waiting until they were installed to vote.

In World Zionist Congress elections last year, representation among North Americans took a rightward turn. The likelihood is that the newer, more conservative slate of electors would have rejected J Street.
UK must boycott Durban festival of Jew hate
Twenty years ago, early on in my time at the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), I represented the British Jewish community at a conference in South Africa. I had been sent to the UN World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance to learn from and work with international friends and partners to tackle various forms of racism.

Instead, to my horror, I saw copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion being freely handed out, swastika-adorned posters with crude caricatures of Jews with bloodied fangs outside the conference hall and leaflets with pictures of Adolf Hitler saying, “What if I had won?”.

You might think I had somehow stumbled into a gathering of neo-Nazis. No. Held in Durban in 2001, this conference — full of noble intentions — descended into antisemitism, anti-Zionism and virulent hatred of Israel. In other words, the conference against racism descended into a racist conference, with I and my fellow Jews as victims.

It was a truly shocking event, something none of us were prepared for. Instead of learning from experts and colleagues from around the world, I spent my time firefighting, trying to persuade British “anti-racist” colleagues of the abuse I was facing and urging them to call it out and stand with me. This form of racism, however, was not enough of an issue for them to pause and consider the implications, so they simply continued with their agenda and instead of building alliances, I learnt who my real friends were.

Jordan pulls plug on Red-Dead water project with Israel - report
Jordan has decided not to pursue a revival of the highly publicized desalination water project dubbed the “Red-Dead” that had long been considered a symbol of cooperation between the Hashemite Kingdom, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, KAN News reported on Thursday. The Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Regional Cooperation have not received any formal notification of Jordan’s decision.

The project, initiated in 2002, has long been frozen and professionals have expressed concern about environmental issues and the cost effectiveness of the project compared to other alternatives.

According to the Israeli NGO EcoPeace, the initial project would have piped 2 billion cubic meters of water from Aqaba to a desalination plant near the Dead Sea. The 800 million c.m. of water that would have been produced would have been sent back to Jordan while the salty residue would have been piped into the Dead Sea to stabilize it and restore its shrinking shore line, according to EcoPeace. The link between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea, led to the project’s nick name.

Later versions of the project also scaled down the project, and placed a desalinization plant near Aqaba with the salty resident piped to the Dead Sea. The project also included water sales to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, according to EcoPeace.
Fresh Clashes Between Palestinians, Israeli Security Forces at Flashpoint Jerusalem Site
Fresh clashes broke out on Friday between Israeli security forces and Palestinian worshippers at a flashpoint cite in Jerusalem’s Old City after the Muslim worshippers walking out of the mass prayer hurled rocks at Israeli soldiers.

According to Palestinian reports, three people sustained injuries in the violence at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount.

This comes at a time of high tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with violations of a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers that went into effect on May 21, ending 11 days of heavy fighting.

After three days of incendiary balloons launched from the Palestinian enclave, Israeli fighter jets carried out retaliatory air strikes for a second time since the ceasefire.
CAMERA prompts Indy Arabia to admit Israelis held in Gaza are civilians
Admittedly, even this backgrounder – riddled with falsehoods and manipulations – marks a considerable improvement compared to past reports by Abu ‘Eisheh, who in 2019-2020 would simply label Mengistu and as-Sayed as “soldiers” without further elaboration. Nevertheless, and especially in view of the subheading and last sentence quoted above, it bears mentioning once more:
- Mengistu was not discharged from military service since he was never enlisted in the first place.
- Mengistu’s relatives never claimed otherwise.
- As-Sayed’s military service lasted less than three months, ending with his discharge in November 2008.
- When as-Sayed wandered into the Gaza Strip in April 2015, he’d been a civilian for more than six years.
- Consequently, both Mengistu and as-Sayed were clearly civilians when they entered Gaza.
- Contrary to what the word “while” (فيما in Arabic) in the report above implies, all involved – Israel, Mengistu’s and as-Sayed’s relatives, and Amnesty International – are in full agreement about these enlisted facts. To wit, nobody contests that as-Sayed was a soldier for a short period, and everybody agrees that this is completely irrelevant for his current status as a mentally ill civilian in captivity.

It is these facts that Abu ‘Eisheh’s wording works so hard to disguise, in attempt to put the two kidnapped civilians together with the two fallen soldiers under the same erroneous “four soldiers” subheading. Once revealed, they expose his misleading backgrounder for the sham that it is, in service of the only party which does claim that Mengistu and as-Sayed are soldiers – Hamas.

Here is one final fact about Hamas:
In 2016, when Hamas high official Mahmoud az-Zahar rejected the argument that Hamas keeps mentally ill Israeli civilians as captives, he reasoned this with the claims that “there are no civilians in Israel” since all serve in the army, and that “Israelis who enter Gaza are spies”.
IDF attacks targets in Gaza; Kohavi: Prepare for round of fighting
The IDF attacked a number of targets in the Gaza Strip late Thursday night in response to a number of incendiary balloons that were launched from Gaza into Israel earlier in the day.

Early Friday morning, rocket sirens were heard in Kfar Aza along the Gaza border. The IDF later clarified that the sirens were not due to rocket fire but were likely the result of machine gunfire.

No injuries were reported. The IDF warned Gazan residents in advance of their attack of 10 Hamas targets in the Strip, N12 news reported. The strikes were carried out in Khan Yunis, which came in response to multiple incendiary balloons launched which led to some eight fires in Israeli communities near Gaza.

Fires were reported in the Sha'ar HaNegev area and throughout the Eshkol Regional Council area.

Tensions between Israel and terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip have risen in the last three days, following a threat from Hamas to escalate attacks in response to the Jerusalem Flag March on Tuesday.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi held a security briefing with top commanders and instructed them to prepare for renewed fighting with Hamas. Israel and Hamas fought for 10 days last month in Operation Guardian of the Walls. Over 4,500 rockets were fired into Israel during the conflict.

"The IDF will continue to destroy terrorist infrastructure throughout Gaza and it views Hamas as being responsible for the attacks that emanate from there," the IDF said.

Israel to Send Palestinians 1 Million COVID Vaccine Doses in Exchange Deal
Israel will send at least 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Palestinian Authority (PA) under a deal to share shots, officials said on Friday, in a boost for the Palestinians’ vaccination campaign in the West Bank and Gaza.

Under the terms of the deal, announced by new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office, the PA agreed to give Israel a reciprocal number of doses from one of its own shipments due to arrive later this year.

The vaccine deal was among initial policy moves towards the Palestinians by Bennett since he was sworn in on Sunday, replacing veteran leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Israel will transfer to the Palestinian Authority 1-1.4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine,” a joint statement from Bennett’s office and the health and defense ministries said.

The Pfizer-BioNTech doses earmarked for transfer “will expire soon,” the statement said, and they were “approved in light of the fact that Israel’s vaccine stock meets its needs today.”

A source in the PA health ministry confirmed the deal and said the Palestinians expect to receive a shipment of Pfizer doses in August or September. The Israeli statement said Israel would receive reciprocal doses from the PA in September or October.

Neither side said when the initial Israeli transfer to the PA would be made.

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