GAZA STRIP (Dispatches) – Following media reports about the Zionist regime linking the entry of COVID-19 vaccines into Gaza with the release of a Zionist trooper, Israeli rights group Gisha-Maslak stressed that the entry of vaccines "must not” be conditional.
In a statement posted on its website, Gisha-Maslak announced: "The health and human rights of the Palestinian population, including access to medicine, medical treatment, and vaccines, must not, under any circumstances, be made conditional on the outcome of negotiations or political maneuvering of any kind.”
The rights group added: "Over the course of 2021, people and communities across the world hope that restrictions on travel and commerce are removed, so that life can return to normal. Gisha calls on Israel to fulfill its duty to protect the health and safety of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
It reiterated: "Only an end to the occupation can ensure full protection of rights,” urging that the occupying regime: "Must ensure that the coronavirus vaccine is available and distributed swiftly, and, where necessary, contributing to covering the costs of the vaccine and its distribution.”
The rights group also asserted that the Zionist regime must lift: "The closure on the Gaza Strip to enable the proper functioning of its economy and healthcare system in face of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as meeting its obligation to the civilian population of the strip as a whole.”
Ending its statement, Gisha-Maslak pressed for the Zionist regime to work: "In close cooperation with all relevant actors, Palestinian and international, for the safety and well-being of all residents of the region.”
Amnesty International also urged the Zionist regime on Wednesday to abide by its "international obligations” and ensure coronavirus vaccine doses are provided to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.
The UK-based rights group said the regime needed to "stop ignoring its international obligations as an occupying power and immediately act to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are equally and fairly provided to Palestinians living under its occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported more than 100,000 confirmed cases in the West Bank, including 1,100 deaths.
Gaza registered over 43,130 cases and at least 400 fatalities.
The Palestinian Authority has said Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza will be inoculated through the United Nations-backed COVAX program.
The ministry said Monday that it expected to receive its first vaccine doses in February through the program.