Israel, I’ll give you the vaccine when you stop the embassy.

picture explanationPhoto = Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu (first right) receiving the Corona 19 vaccine from Pfizer, who arrived at Israeli airport on the 10th of last month. [사진 = 연합뉴스]

Israel, who has already vaccinated the Corona 19 vaccine to about half of the nation’s citizens, said it would distribute the remaining vaccine to other countries.

Foreign media raised suspicion that Israel had promised to supply vaccines to countries that said it would host an embassy in Jerusalem.

According to the US ABC broadcast, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on the 23rd (local time) that it will provide the remaining vaccines to Palestine and some countries that requested the vaccine. The Prime Minister’s office said, “We will send a symbolic amount of our current reserves to Palestine and other countries requesting vaccines. Thousands of vaccines have already headed to Ramallah (west bank of the Jordan River).” Israel secured the Corona 19 vaccine early in exchange for providing vaccination-related data to Pfizer and began vaccination on December 19 last year. Currently, 446 million people, which account for 48% of the total population (about 9.3 million), have completed the first vaccination. 3.07 million people, or 33%, completed the second vaccination.

Honduras, Chile and Guatemala, which had shown their intention to set up an embassy in Jerusalem, are expected to bring Israeli vaccines. Reuters reported that Honduras was included in Israel’s vaccine offering. Israeli local media Times of Israel also reported that a plane from Honduras would carry the vaccine. Israeli public broadcaster KAN said the Czech Republic and Guatemala showed interest in providing the vaccine to Israel.

Israeli vaccine provision is one of the efforts to attract an embassy in Jerusalem, foreign media analyzed. Honduras, the Czech Republic, and Guatemala were all countries that considered the transfer of embassy to Jerusalem during the former Donald Trump administration. The Trump administration unilaterally declared Jerusalem to be Israeli territory and moved the embassy.

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Israel is actively using the Corona 19 vaccine as a means of diplomacy. The New York Times (NYT) reported on the 20th that Israel returned Israeli prisoners detained in Syria in exchange for secretly buying a Russian-made Corona 19 vaccine to Syria, a longtime enemy.

[김제관 기자]
[ⓒ 매일경제 &, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]

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