Palestinian Authority rejects COVID-19 aid from UAE due to coordination with Israel

UAE shipment of humanitarian supplies will be redirected from the PA to the needy, UN says.

Marcy Oster/JTA, and A7 Staff ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

The Palestinian Authority (PA) rejected a humanitarian shipment of medical supplies sent by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 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 PA 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 Thursday evening, sources in the United Nations told Kan 11 News that the medical aid donation from the United Arab Emirates will be distributed to those most in need, since the PA refused to accept it.

According to the sources, much of the aid is likely to be directed to Gaza.

On Tuesday evening, Palestinian Authority Chairman 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 Judea and Samaria under the Trump peace plan.