UAE sends aid to Gaza, where 45% of virus tests return positive in the past day

The United Arab Emirates announced on Wednesday that it had sent shippers of coronavirus supporters to the Gaza Strip in cooperation with a group run by its favorite Palestinian agent, Mohammad Dahlan, who was its leader. the Fatah movement, which is a rival of the Hamas rulers of Gaza.

“The United Arab Emirates today sent a third-aid aircraft carrying 14.4 metric tons of medical supplies and test equipment to the Gaza Strip,” the Emirati foreign ministry said in a statement.

Relations between Palestinian groups and the UAE have tightened in recent months as a result of Abu Dhabi’s decision in mid-August to fully normalize ties with Israel, which was both a Hamas terrorist group and the Palestine is regarded as a “stab in the back” for the Palestinian cause.

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Two former Emirati aid vessels were rejected by the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, in May and June before the normalization was announced, as Ramallah saw the planes land at Port Ben Gurion Israeli airmarked as a sign of Abu Dhabi’s move toward legalizing Israel. .

A Hamas chief health officer rejected the notion that ideological differences aggravating the needs of Gaza’s civilian population, however.

“Despite a health catastrophe, it would be unbelievable to deny the support we need,” the official told the Times of Israel in a phone call Wednesday.

The Gaza coronavirus revolution has been steadily declining in the last few weeks. The coastal circulation has seen 44.8 percent of coronavirus tests come back positively in the past 24 hours, the Hamas Ministry of Health announced Wednesday morning.

Palestinian woman works on Christmas themed masks in Gaza City on 9 December 2020 (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

According to Ministry of Health statistics, the Gaza Strip currently has 8,851 active coronavirus infections, and 220 Gazans have died from the virus since the outbreak began.

“Right now, we’re seeing around 10 deaths a day. We expect those numbers to continue to rise,” a Hamas health official said.

Gaza’s fragile health infrastructure has been torn down by three wars and a 13-year embargo with Israel and Egypt, which imposes strict restrictions on incoming and outgoing goods. shore. Hamas Health Officials regularly report a shortage of medical supplies necessary to combat the coronavirus.

Israel argues that the embargo is needed to curb a far greater military threat from the Hamas rulers of Gaza, who are desperately trying to destroy the Jewish state. Rights groups, however, have criticized the devastating impact on Gaza’s civilian population and the economy that accompanies the restrictions.

Palestinian farmers wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will prepare straw for export at a packing facility in the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Lahia on 15 December 2020. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

The number of reported infections has fallen in the past week. But that is likely to be the result of very low testing – sometimes no more than hundreds of tests per day for the two million residents of the Strip – rather than a real decline in the spread of the virus. Gaza ‘s only testing facility stopped processing new tests for two consecutive days last week due to a shortage of equipment.

The Emirates said the aid was being coordinated by the Takaful Commission, a group affiliated with Dahlan, Gaza’s deputy head of intelligence. Dahlan is a longtime rival of both the Hamas terrorist group and the mainstream Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.

Mohammad Dahlan in 2006 (Michal Fattal / Flash90)

He was forced to flee to the West Bank after Hamas took control of the West Bank in 2007. After further clashes with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Dahlan Ramallah left for Abu Dhabi in 2011, where he is rumored to be a close adviser to Emirati Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed.

Although Emrati aid had not yet formally arrived, a Hamas official noted that the Takaful Commission was working with the explicit consent of de facto Gaza rulers.

“We will not object to this.” If I am hungry, and someone offers me a menu, how can I refuse? We need this medicine and this support … We have no intention of refusing. On the contrary, we welcome it from everyone, ”said the official.

A spokesman for Dahlan Fatah, the democratic reform stream, told the Israeli Times that Dahlan had been directly involved in obtaining aid from Gaza.

“Mohammad Dahlan will work to support the Palestinian people wherever they are, as long as he has the opportunity to do so,” said the spokesman, who praised the “fraternal actions of the Emirates.”

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