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Israel threatens to stop cooperation with PA regarding fight against COVID-19

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon at the UN headquarters in New York, US on 20 February 2018 [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon at the UN headquarters in New York, US on 20 February 2018 [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]

On Thursday, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Danny Danon threatened to stop his country's cooperation with the Palestinian Authority (PA) regarding the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

This came after a speech of the Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour at the UN Security Council, accusing Israeli of exacerbating the situation.

"The Palestinian situation in this pandemic is unique and painfully acute," Mansour explained. "Our coping capacities have been depleted by 53 years of this illegal occupation and its constant dispossession, deprivation and oppression."

Danon replied, accusing Mansour of adopting hate speech and being ani-Semitic, claiming that the Israeli army is doing its best to help the Palestinians.

READ: The coronavirus crisis has revived relations between the PA and Israel

Only two days ago, Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett stopped coronavirus testing in the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli occupation forces have removed several PA efforts in the fight against the virus in Jerusalem and West Bank.

Danon accused: "How dare you slander our efforts? How dare you lie about the brave soldiers of the IDF? How dare you blame them of the spreading the virus? They risk their lives to contain the outbreak for both Israelis and Palestinians."

"Not only are your accusations shameless lies, but they are anti-Semitic. You should be ashamed of yourself. You should apologise for what you have said. You have made it clear that you prefer to hate Israel more than help the Palestinian people."

Israel fights with coronavirus fears - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Israel fights with coronavirus fears – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

He continued his accusations: "The Palestinian Authority would like to have their cake and eat it too. They happily accept any and all assistance from Israel and expect it to continue even as they incite against us and spread anti-Semitic libel."

It is worth noting that Israel blocks hundreds of millions of PA taxes collected by the Israeli customs, rendering the PA treasury fragile to the degree of being unable to meet the essential needs of the Palestinians.

READ: Will the Coronavirus Change the World? On Gramsci's 'Interregnum' and Zizek's Ethnocentric Philosophy 

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CoronavirusIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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