Ahead of Denmark leader's visit to Israel on Thursday to hash out coronavirus vaccine alliance, Danish newspapers and lawmakers have urged the country's prime minister not to cooperate with what they labeled Israel's policy of "vaccine apartheid".
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Danish Prime Minister Danish Mette Frederiksen have broken ranks with the European Union to form an alliance with Israel to produce second-generation vaccines against mutations of the coronavirus. Kurz and Frederiksen due to arrive in Israel later in the day to see Israel's rapid vaccine roll-out up close.
The Danish premier's political allies, however, called on her to refrain from any vaccine deals with Israel after it allegedly failed to expand its high paced vaccination drive to the Palestinians territories.
Israeli government has allocated 5,000 vaccines for the Palestinian Authority's medical staff and set to vaccinate Palestinian workers employed in Israel. In addition, under the terms of the Oslo Accords, the PA is responsible for the healthcare of its own population and has repeatedly said it is obtaining its own vaccines via a UN scheme.
A local Danish newspaper even published an article titled: "The apartheid vaccines policy in Israel is a disgrace." The paper went on to say that Frederiksen "should condemn it, not beg for Israel's vaccines."
One of the members of the Red–Green Alliance - an eco-socialist political party in Denmark that backs Frederiksen - also slammed the premier's decision to cooperate with Israel shortly before her departure.
"Denmark should not approve of the Israeli occupation and apartheid policy by promising to bring vaccines to the Danish public. We should not rely on Israel to produce vaccines. Apartheid and global solidarity during a pandemic should not go hand in hand," said the lawmaker.
He continued: "it would be a historic mistake for Denmark to cooperate with Israel, as long as it does not fulfill its obligations under the international law. Instead, we must demand Israe provides the Palestinians with the vaccines."
It was reported on Wednesday the PA was facing criticism following its decision to divert some of its tiny stockpile of coronavirus vaccines to senior officials, soccer players and others.