Amid the coronavirus outbreak, even though most countries are struggling to match the requirement of medical equipment, the Palestinian authorities have rejected UAE's aid that was sent via Israel.
According to international media reports, Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said in a press conference on Thursday, May 21 that the officials made the decision on the basis that it was not coordinated through them. He added that the administration has an ‘authority’ and ‘sovereignty’ that allows them to not accept the aid without coordination.
According to media reports, Palestine rejected the UAE package because it wanted to refrain itself from bridging the differences between UAE and Israel. Even though both UAE and Israel do not have any diplomatic relations, the ties have grown warmer in recent years.
Meanwhile, the Palestine-Israel relationship has grown more intense. The latest escalation came with Israel's plan to construct West Bank settlements on the Palestinian territory. Recently, at a meeting this week Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that his government is free from Israeli agreements and understandings.
According to international media reports, the package sent to Palestine via an Emirati flight to Israel carried at least 16 tons of medical equipment including ten ventilators that were marked for distribution in West Bank and Gaza.
However, Palestinian authorities did not support the idea of UAE coordinating the aid with the Israeli government. The leadership in Palestine and its supporters oppose the ‘normalisation’ of the UAE-Israeli relationship and argued that diplomatic pressure is essential to stop Israel from occupying the future Palestinian state through its settlements.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said earlier this year that he had issued the order to construct 3,500 new settler homes in the sensitive area of the occupied West Bank. However, the international community raised concerns over settlement plans in the sensitive corridor as it would cut the West Bank in two and also compromise the contiguity of a future Palestinian state.
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