Palestinians reject COVID-19 aid from UAE because it was coordinated through Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinian Authority rejected a humanitarian shipment of medical supplies sent by the United Arab Emirates because it coordinated the shipment with Israel.

The Etihad Airways flight that landed Tuesday night in Israel carrying 14 tons of medical aid to deal with the coronavirus was reported to be the first publicly acknowledged direct flight from Abu Dhabi to Israel. Israel and the UAE do not have diplomatic relations and there no air travel between the two countries.

“The UAE authorities did not coordinate with the State of Palestine before sending the aid,” the Palestinian Maan news agency reported, citing unnamed government sources. “Palestinians refuse to be a bridge [for Arab countries] seeking to have normalized ties with Israel.”

On Tuesday evening, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared an end to all agreements with Israel, including security cooperation, in reaction to the new Israeli government’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank under the Trump peace plan.

The Palestinian Authority has had a total of 577 confirmed coronavirus cases and four deaths, according to the official Palestinian news service Wafa.

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