World Israel finances vaccines for Syria as part of a prisoner exchange

17:19  21 february  2021
17:19  21 february  2021 Source:   slate.fr

Syria Fast Facts

  Syria Fast Facts View Syria Fast Facts at CNN to learn about the Middle Eastern country sharing a border with Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. © JOSEPH EID/AFP/AFP/Getty Images The ancient oasis city of Palmyra, Syria, in March 2014. About Syria(from the CIA World Factbook) Area: 187,437 sq km Population: 20,384,316 (July 2021 est.)Median age: 23.

Un homme se fait vacciner contre le Covid-19 dans une clinique mobile, à Tel-Aviv, le 18 février 2021. | Gil Cohen-Magen / AFP © A man gets vaccinated against Covid-19 in a mobile clinic in Tel Aviv on February 18, 202 ... A man gets vaccinated against Covid-19 at a mobile clinic in Tel Aviv on February 18, 2021. | Gil Cohen-Magen / AFP

In order to secure the release of an Israeli civilian detained in Syria, Netanyahu's government has agreed to finance a supply of Covid-19 vaccines to Damascus.

Until then, the official version was a simple exchange of prisoners: in order to obtain the return of a 23-year-old Israeli woman, arrested on February 2 at the Syrian border, near Mount Hermon, State of Israel consented to return to Syria two shepherds who had been arrested in the Golan a few weeks ago.

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But this agreement would have had other implications, still denied in the official Syrian press, and which the Israeli government refuses to comment on. According to the New York Times, a secret negotiation would have been held between the two enemy states concerning the sending to Syria of Russian-billed vaccines against the Covid-19, the number of which is still unknown. Russia, which supplies the Sputnik V vaccine, should play the role of mediator.

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The Palestinians, still without a vaccine

Since the start of its vaccination campaign, Israel has already given at least one injection to half of its population , which has 9.2 million inhabitants. Syria, for its part, strangled by the war that Bashar al-Assad has waged against its population since 2011, has not yet started to deploy its vaccines.

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The revelation of a deal that would ship Covid-19 vaccines to Syria, even as Palestinians in the occupied territories struggle to get vaccinated, has sparked outrage. For the 2.8 million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, Israel has provided only a few thousand vaccines. Just last week, the Israeli government delayed delivery of a shipment to Gaza, which has a further 2 million inhabitants.

Building on the Oslo accords, the Israeli authorities had previously said they would vaccinate their own population before dealing with the Palestinians. On the Palestinian side, is invoked by reverse the Fourth Geneva Convention , signed in 1949, according to which any occupying power is required, according to articles 55 and 56, to ensure "the supply [...] of medical supplies and any other article necessary when the resources of the occupied territory are insufficient ", and to take the" measures […] necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics ".

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The agreement between Syria and Israel also emphasizes the role that the vaccine against Covid-19 will be brought to play in international diplomacy, and on the strong disparities in access to healthcare between rich and impoverished states. Russia, with Sputnik V, is in this respect very well placed to make full use of its vaccine diplomacy.

Detained Americans Fast Facts .
Read CNN's Fast Facts about recent cases of foreign governments detaining US citizens. For information about missing Americans, see Robert Levinson Fast Facts or POW/MIA in Iraq and Afghanistan Fast Facts. © CNN Kenneth Bae spoke to CNN's Will Ripley on September 1, 2014. Currently Detained AmericansChina Kai Li September 2016 - Kai Li, a naturalised US citizen born in China, is detained while visiting relatives in Shanghai.July 2018 - He is sentenced to ten years in prison for espionage following a secret trial held in August 2017.

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