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Palestinian COVID Vaccine Plan Faces Large Funding Gap, World Bank Says

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JERUSALEM: The Palestinians’ COVID-19 vaccination plan faces a $30 million funding shortfall, even after factoring in support from a global vaccine scheme for poorer economies, the World Bank said in a report on Monday.

Israel, a world leader in terms of vaccination speed, could perhaps consider donating surplus doses to the Palestinians to help accelerate a vaccine roll-out in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, the bank said.

“In order to ensure there is an effective vaccination campaign, Palestinian and Israeli authorities should coordinate in the financing, purchase and distribution of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines,” it said.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) plans to cover 20% of Palestinians through the COVAX vaccine-sharing programme. PA officials hope to procure additional vaccines to achieve 60% coverage.

Cost estimates suggest that “a total of about $55 million would be needed to cover 60 percent of the population, of which there is an existing gap of $30 million,” the World Bank said, calling for additional donor help.

The Palestinians began vaccinations this month and have received small donations from Israel, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

But the roughly 32,000 doses received to date fall far short of the 5.2 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, territory Israel captured in a 1967 war.

‘EXTRA DOSES’

Palestinians and rights groups have accused Israel of ignoring its duties as an occupying power by not including the Palestinians in its inoculation programme.

Israeli officials have said that under the Oslo peace accords, the PA health ministry is responsible for vaccinating people in Gaza and parts of the West Bank where it has limited self-rule.

Israel reopened swathes of its economy on Sunday after rolling out one of the world’s swiftest vaccination programs. It has been administering Pfizer Inc’s vaccine to its 9.1 million citizens, and has a separate stockpile of an estimated 100,000 doses of Moderna Inc’s vaccine.

While the PA expects to receive an initial COVAX shipment within weeks, the program is at risk of failing, mainly due to a lack of funds. The PA says it has supply deals with Russia and drugmaker AstraZeneca, but doses have been slow to come.

“From a humanitarian perspective, Israel can consider donating the extra doses it has ordered that it would not be using,” the World Bank said.

The PA health ministry said on Friday that Israel had agreed to vaccinate 100,000 Palestinians who regularly cross into Israel for work.

A decision on vaccinating the Palestinian workers should be made soon, Nachman Ash, Israel’s coronavirus czar, told reporters on Sunday.

“From a medical perspective, we think vaccinating the Palestinian workers is very much the correct thing to do.”

(Additional reporting by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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Social media users expose hypocrisy of Muslim supporters of Joe Biden

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On Wednesday, Sameera Fazili, the Deputy Director of National Economic Council in the Biden administration, made her appearance at a White House press briefing. Fazili, an Indian-American, participated in the White House Press Briefing wearing a ‘Hijab’, evoking a mixed response on social platforms.

Sameera, who originally hails from Kashmir, shared the press briefing with White House spokesperson Jane Saki and addressed various issues on the Biden administration’s move to secure critical US supply chains and create jobs in the country. The images and videos of Sameera wearing the ‘Hijab’ at the press conference have now gone viral.

The left-liberals and Muslim social media users hailed the Biden administration for celebrating diversity and appointing Muslim woman in his administration. They also hailed Sameera Fazili for addressing the press conference with her ‘Hijab’.

One user Aymann Ismail wrote, “Trump invited Islamophobes like Brigette Gabriel into the WH. Today, sister @sameerafazili delivered a press briefing”.

“A proud moment. Sameera Fazili, the first American Muslim woman to brief the press at White House. She is the deputy director of the National Economic Council. I hope the French government learn a lesson in democracy and respecting diversity. #hijab”, wrote Nihad Awad, the Chief of radical Islamic organisation CAIR.

Another Twitter user Imraan Siddiqui said, “A month after Trump is gone and we have a sister in hijab giving the press briefing at the White House”.

According to the Islamists in the US, Donald Trump was an Islamophobic president, while the Biden administration has been an enabler for Muslims to achieve great things.

For the uninitiated, Sameera Fazili is one of two Kashmiri-origin Indian-American members inducted into key positions in Biden’s team alongside Aisha Shah, the partnership manager at the White House Office of Digital Strategy.

Fazili, like fellow Islamists and pro-Pakistan sympathiser, has been a vocal critic of India’s Kashmir policy which aims to foster peace and development in the terror infested region. Fazili is also an outspoken proponent of Kashmiri separatism and has often backed radical terror groups in the valley.

Just days after the Indian government had abrogated Article 370, Fazili had organized a terror-tied anti-India protest within the USA. The event was sponsored by Islamic terror groups such as Muslim-Brotherhood front groups, al-Qaeda sympathizers, along with left-wing elements both in India and outside.

Most importantly, she has ties with Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The CAIR has been vocal about Fazili’s participation in the radical-led protests in India. Unsurprisingly, the CAIR has also expressed its glee over Fazili addressing the press conference with her Hijab.

Ironically, the Islamists in the US celebrated Sameera Fazili’s ‘Hijabi’ appearance just a day after the US administration had killed several Muslims in Syria and Iraq by carrying out airstrikes.

Social media users highlights the irony

As Islamists thronged on social media to hail both Biden administration and Fazili for flaunting her hijab in public to make a political point, the social media users descended on the internet to expose the hypocrisy of the Biden administration and its Muslim supporters over their Muslim appeasement on the one hand and state-sponsored violence on the same community members on the other.

Several social media users had a field day on Thursday, who mocked Biden administration and its supporters for propping up the ‘Hijabi’ woman Sameera Fazili at a press conference just a day after bombing innocent Muslims in Syria. The US had carried out airstrikes in Syria, targeting groups affiliated with an Iran-backed militia in retaliation to rocket attacks on American troops in northern Iraq.

Taking a dig at the Islamists cheering Fazili, a user asked whether she was at the press conference to explain why the US bombed Islamic countries such as Syria and Iran.

Another user asked whether the ‘hijab’-clad Fazili replaced the 22 Muslims that Biden had killed in the recent past.

Desi Trump, a social media user, said that tomorrow Biden administration would drop hijab wrapped SOWs hinged to an F15 and kill dozens in Syria and Iraq. Pointing out the irony of the so-called ‘diversity’ of Biden administration, he/she said that the killing in Syria was ‘halal’ king.

Exposing the hypocrisy of the ‘Muslim appeasement’ of Biden administration, a user said that more ‘Hijabi’ women are operating drone strikes now.

A social media user Sarah pointed out how Biden refuses to recognise the persecution of Uyghur Muslims by China and calls it a ‘cultural thing’, while his administration indulges in photo-ops with ‘Hijabi’ women to claim they respect ‘diversity’.

Similarly, another user pointed the irony of the Biden administration to send Sameera Fazili to appear before the press conference in Hijab even as it continues to implement policies that fail to recognise the alleged atrocities carried out against Uyghur Muslims in China.

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