Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan has called on the Government to ensure the EU-procured vaccine does not exclude Palestinians.
Speaking in the Seanad yesterday, Senator Boylan said:
“Israel has been included in the EU Covid vaccine procurement process. However, if news reports coming from the EU are correct, it appears that the Palestinians will not be included in that process.
“Israeli public health officials have only accounted for the number of vaccines required to vaccinate Israeli citizens and have said that it is the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority to provide vaccines for Palestinians.
“This is a flagrant breach of international law; the Geneva Convention requires the occupying force to take ‘preventive measures to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics’.
“The Israeli blockade on Gaza has left the Palestinian Health System on its knees but the situation has been exacerbated during the pandemic due to insufficient PPE, ICU beds and ventilators.
“We’ve heard time and time again that the virus does not discriminate. Sadly, for the people of Palestine, the Israeli Government does.
“I’m requesting that the Minister for Foreign Affairs show leadership and demand that the EU include Palestinians in the vaccine rollout.”