Israel is planning to provide thousands of doses of the coronavirus vaccine to some 20 countries.
According to CBN News, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is negotiating with 20 countries to provide up to 100,000 vaccine doses. The doses come from a surplus in the country of the Moderna vaccine.
Netanyahu has not released the list of countries that will receive the vaccine, but Kan public radio in Israel named Cyprus, Hungary, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Chad, Kenya, Uganda, Guinea and Mauritania as possible recipients.
Half of Israel’s population of 9.3 million have already received the vaccine and is being called the world leader in vaccine rollouts. On Monday, the country celebrated its 5 millionth vaccination.
According to the New York Times, some, however, say Israel is overlooking the Palestinian population living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Critics have said Israel is giving away vaccines to other countries but not the nearly five million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“It says a lot about a regime,” said Salem Barahmeh, executive director at the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, “that it is willing to send vaccines halfway across the world, potentially for a quid pro quo, and not offer the vaccine to the millions of Palestinians who live under the Israeli occupation.”
Spokespersons for Israel have said the Palestinian Authority is responsible for vaccinating that population. Israel, however, has given some 2,000 doses to the PA and signaled more doses would be coming.
“A few weeks ago there were question marks about whether we had enough vaccines for our own people,” Mark Regev, an adviser to Netanyahu, said in February. “Now that it appears we do, we can be more forthcoming with our neighbors.”
Last week, Israel joined an agreement with Denmark and Austria for more research investments and to set up vaccine distribution plans in Europe and Israel.
“We think that by joining the resources of three small but very able and gifted countries, we can better meet these challenges,” the prime minister said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Sittithat Tangwitthayaphum
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.