UN hoping to persuade PA to accept UAE shipment

The PA has rejected coronavirus-related supplies from UAE since the delivery was coordinated with Israel.

Elad Benari ,

Plane with supplies from UAE
Plane with supplies from UAE
Henry Petrov

Despite objections from the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations hopes to transfer two large shipments of coronavirus-related medical supplies, flown from the United Arab Emirates to Israel, to both Judea and Samaria and Gaza in the coming days, a UN official told The Times of Israel on Sunday.

An Etihad Airways flight containing humanitarian cargo landed in Israel last Tuesday.

The PA, however, refused the medical supplies since the delivery was coordinated with Israel rather than with them.

This marked the second airborne delivery of humanitarian cargo by the UAE that the Palestinian Arabs say they have turned down in a month.

The second shipment was still clearing customs at Ben Gurion Airport, the UN official said on Sunday. Once it joins the first shipment at Ashdod, they will be sent out “hopefully in the coming days,” he added.

Officials from the office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process will be meeting with local representatives from the World Health Organization to discuss how the nearly two dozen tons of medical supplies will be distributed.

The PA is outraged over the coalition agreement between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, which stipulates that the government can apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria in July.

In response to the move, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced recently that the PA was no longer bound by the agreements it signed with Israel and the US, including the security coordination with Israel.

While Jordan and Egypt are the only Arab countries to hold official relations with Israel, Gulf Arab nations like the UAE have been warming to the Jewish state recently amid shared concerns over Iran.

While a May 19 Etihad flight carrying Palestinian aid from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv was unmarked, last Tuesday was the first time an Etihad aircraft landed in Israel bearing its logo, a source with knowledge of the flight told AFP.