Israel halts sale of vaccines

A complaint from the Attorney General and Security Minister has temporarily frozen the Prime Minister's plans to sell surplus vaccines.

Shlomo Witty ,

יתחסן במוצאי השבת הקרובה. נתניהו עם החיסונים הראשונים שנחתו בנתב"ג
יתחסן במוצאי השבת הקרובה. נתניהו עם החיסונים הראשונים שנחתו בנתב"ג
צילום: מארק ישראל סלם

Israel froze the sale of COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world, after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit warned the head of the National Security Council about the possibility of a petition being submitted to the Supreme Court.

The head of the National Security Council, Meir Ben Shabbat, asked for a legal opinion before continuing to distribute the vaccines to the various countries.

The Prime Minister's Office stated: "Although not one vaccine has been deducted from the quantity needed for all Israeli citizens, and even though the amount sold to other powers is purely symbolic and builds a good name for Israel in the world, a preliminary petition arose that required further investigation from the ombudsman before continuing the operation.”

At the same time, the Attorney General is examining the claim of Defense Minister Benny Gantz that vaccines were transferred to foreign countries without the proper permissions.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz today (Thursday) demanded that Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately stop the process of transferring the vaccines purchased by the State of Israel to foreign countries and to convene the Security Cabinet for an urgent discussion on the issue.

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, the head of the National Security Council and the Attorney General, Ganz wrote, "While supplying vaccines to the PA was carried out according to protocol, the more recent sales to other powers have not been, and the statements made about the sales are false.”

Ganz wrote in his letter that he also turned to the Attorney General to examine the issue and claimed, "This is a significant political-security decision, and accordingly, it should be made in accordance with the procedures established by law."

The Defense Minister mentioned in his letter, "This is not the first time that significant security and policy decisions have been made in absence of the relevant authorities in the State of Israel, potentially harming state security, its foreign relations and the rule of law. "