Palestinian health workers stand next to a shipment of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine sent by United Arab Emirates, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip
Palestinian health workers stand next to a shipment of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine sent by the United Arab Emirates at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip
Photo: Reuters
Palestinian health workers stand next to a shipment of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine sent by the United Arab Emirates at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip

Gaza receives COVID vaccines from UAE, helped by Abbas rival

Health officials say vaccinations will begin Monday, with priority for medical workers and those with chronic diseases; step by Mohamad Dahlan believed attempt to score points ahead of Palestinian polls in summer

Reuters |
Published: 02.21.21, 18:51
Gaza received 20,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine from the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, a move secured by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's rival, Mohammad Dahlan, who is based in the Gulf state.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • Gaza health officials said they would begin vaccination on Monday, with priority for medical workers and those with chronic diseases. Many patients were contacted in advance and asked to give their consent.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Palestinian health workers stand next to a shipment of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine sent by United Arab Emirates, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip
    Palestinian health workers stand next to a shipment of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine sent by United Arab Emirates, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip
    Palestinian health workers stand next to a shipment of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine sent by the United Arab Emirates at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The step by Dahlan, whom Abbas had dismissed from his Fatah party a decade ago and forced into exile, was seen by analysts as an attempt to score points ahead of a planned Palestinian election later this year.
    "The shipment is a generous offer from the brotherly UAE," Dahlan, long considered a potential Abbas successor, said on Facebook. "We promise our people that we will exert every possible effort to secure more."
    Gaza received its first 2,000 doses of Sputnik V on Wednesday, sent by Abbas's government after Israel approved the transfer through its border with the territory, which is controlled by the Palestinian leader's Islamist Hamas rivals.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    צילום של מוחמד דחלאן
    צילום של מוחמד דחלאן
    Mohammad Dahlan
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Gaza, an impoverished enclave of two million people, has registered more than 54,000 cases with 543 deaths.
    In August, the UAE angered Palestinians when it struck a diplomatic deal with Israel, a move Abbas described as "betrayal". Some criticized Dahlan for failing to condemn the accord, while others suggested he may have played a role.
    He has not outright denied this. But his faction has criticized Arab countries forming relations with Israel before its conflict with the Palestinians is resolved.
    Dahlan had said his strong ties with the UAE helped him raise hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Palestinians.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    A truck loaded with Russian-made Sputnik V doses from the UAE arrives in the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing with Egypt, on February 21, 2021. Around 20,000 coronavirus vaccine doses from the UAE arrived in Gaza today, a delivery reportedly orchestrated by a rival of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas three months before scheduled Palestinian elections.
    A truck loaded with Russian-made Sputnik V doses from the UAE arrives in the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing with Egypt, on February 21, 2021. Around 20,000 coronavirus vaccine doses from the UAE arrived in Gaza today, a delivery reportedly orchestrated by a rival of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas three months before scheduled Palestinian elections.
    A truck loaded with Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines from the UAE arrives in the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing with Egypt
    (Photo: AFP)
    In Gaza and the West Bank, Palestinians gave mixed responses.
    "How can you thank the Emirates? (They) gave up on our cause and normalized with the Israelis," said one post.
    Another said: "All hail the true leader, Mohammad Dahlan, who cares for his people, supports them in all areas of life and stands for them in all circumstances."
    Once a fierce foe of Hamas, Dahlan has in recent years improved his ties with its rulers, permitting his associates to operate more freely in the territory.
    Talkbacks for this article 0