Jerusalem / Damascus / Moscow Israel and Syria – powers that have long been “on knives”. The countries exchanged prisoners, but Israel reportedly added Sputnik to the two Syrian shepherds for millions. The government censored the information and subsequently declined to comment. He now faces criticism, according to the media, using his vaccine supplies to play geopolitical games.
Israel is easing pandemic measures. Theaters, gyms or sports matches will be only for the cured and vaccinated
Israel concluded an agreement with Syria last week to exchange detained citizens. The Jewish state sent back two Syrians, apparently shepherds, who had entered its territory in recent weeks. In return, Damascus returned Israelis, who lived in an ultra-Orthodox settlement in the West Bank and were detained in Syria after accidentally crossing high-security borders, according to Israeli sources. According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the agreement was to be brokered by Russia.
The agreement between the powers, which have no diplomatic ties due to long-standing conflicts, allegedly did not go as smoothly as the official version states. The agreement should have another point of wording. An Israeli anonymous source, according to the British daily The Guardian, said that Israel had secretly paid $ 1.2 million (approximately CZK 25 million) to Russia for the Sputnik V vaccine, which was subsequently to be brought to Syria by President Bashar al-Assad. The exact number of doses is not known. In Syria, which has been plagued by civil war for eleven years, the vaccination campaign has not yet begun.
Saturday’s news of the delivery was blocked in the Israeli press all day, then began to spread in the world media and the government waived the ban. Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that “not a single dose of the vaccine from Israel has been used.” The prime minister declined to comment on whether the country’s leadership paid Moscow for Sputnik’s supplies. In addition, Netanyahu thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for brokering the agreement and expressed his joy at bringing Israel back home.
“It is unacceptable to censor the information available to Damascus and Moscow, but ordinary Israelis do not have access to it,” Gideon Saar, his current challenger in the March election, said on behalf of his former colleague Netanyahu.
The supply of the vaccine has been criticized for two reasons: firstly, it is not clear how Bashar al-Assad’s regime will deal with vaccination, and secondly, there are voices that Israel should pay benefits to Palestine, as it allegedly shares responsibility for vaccinating citizens in the occupied territories.
Israel is vaccinating the fastest in the world, the Palestinians from the zones are watching in vain. They receive only a limited number of vaccines
Jerusalem has so far allowed the transport of 2,000 doses of Sputnik to the Gaza Strip, and the authorities have sent 5,000 doses of Moderna to the West Bank. However, Palestine still lacks vaccines, with more than half of the population in the Jewish state of nine million already receiving the first injection.
The media speculates that Jerusalem intends to use its vaccination arsenal to strengthen its foreign policy position and improve relations with the Arab powers. Journalists refer to the vaccines as a “new diplomatic currency”, and the country’s leadership could exchange prisoners for vaccination in the case of Palestine, according to the British newspaper.
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