Calls for investigation and accountability... Questions that need answers after the vaccine scandal

Several academic and media personnel called for conducting an urgent investigation amid the claims for dismissing the Minister of Health and everyone involved as the ramifications of the scandal of the COVID19 vaccine exchange between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are still raging among the Palestinian people.

Social media activists published contradicted scripts of two statements issued by the Ministry of Health regarding the vaccine deal.

In its first statement, it confirmed that all technical aspects of the vaccines were checked by a special technical committee formed by the Ministry of Health, which assured the safety of all vaccines, while it stated in the other statement, which is totally contradicted, that the Ministry of Health's staff found the vaccines sent by Israel not matching the details. So, the government decided to return them. 

The activists did not find any justifications for the contradiction in the two statements yet they considered this as huge evidence of the corruption spread in the Ministry of Health and the Palestinian Authority's institutes. 

A resounding scandal and rampant corruption 

The writer Eyad Al-Qarra considered what happened a resounding scandal as the Palestinians lost credibility in the vaccines provided by the Ministry of Health and a humanitarian crime that was about to kill million Palestinians.

He attacked the Palestinian Authority, saying "this deal is included in the Palestinian Authority's policy of making secret deals for the sake of the Israeli occupation for more than 3 decades. 

The journalist Naela Khaleel expressed her anger and said "People of Jerusalem launch protests for the sake of Al-Aqsa mosque and people of Beita town are being killed while defending Sbaih Mountain, while those are skimming the Palestinians' blood by giving them near-expired vaccines. 

The journalist Esmat Mansour expressed his sadness for losing his mother after being infected by the coronavirus. "As someone who lost his mother, infected with COVID19, as a result of the lack of care and medicine to confront the virus, poverty, corruption, and maladministration, I believe that dismissing the Minister of Health and holding those involved in the scandal into accountability is a priority that cannot be delayed, especially that the scandal disclosed a long series of wrong behaviors, non-credibility, favoritism, and corruption which resulted in the death of dozens or even hundreds of civilians," he said.

Questions that need answers

The professor of Law at Beirzeit University Mousa Dudeen wondered if the Pfizer vaccine deal between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation was corruption estimated at $15 million? He wondered for whom all of that money was supposed to go? 

"People will keep following the occupation's social media outlets as long as they trust their news more than the Palestinian Authority's media," he said. 

The journalist Saleem Swedan also wondered, "if this near-expired COVID19 vaccine exchange occurred in a European country, what would happen to the government and people associated with corruption? Why didn't the government announce details about the exchange until after the Israelis did? Why did the Israeli media talk about direct negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government with the supervision of the Israeli coordination whilst the Minister of Health stated in the press conference that the negotiations were supervised by Pfizer Company?"

The journalist Muath Sharideh condemned the deal and wished if he could have any answers for his innocent questions. "Is it believable that a million COVID19 vaccines were not checked? How the vaccines arrived in the stores of the Palestinian Ministry of Health as long as they were not checked and approved?" He asked. 

"All of those vaccines are expired at the end of June. How would the Palestinian citizens receive the second dose of the vaccine after 3 weeks? Will they receive the second dose out of those million vaccines? How did all of those quantities arrive in your stores without paper-based and laboratory checking? 

Calls for dismissal

Several journalists and personnel of law called for dismissing the Minister of Health, accusing her of the COVID19 vaccine scandal. 

The journalist Essmat Mansour said, "the channel authorized to deal with Israel is Known as it is responsible for the vaccine exchange and other shameful agreements and deals. Yet as long as the Ministry of Health is the basis, we will keep calling for dismissing the Minister of Health and her staff, and holding them into accountability except if she came out and said "we have nothing to do with the deal, that body is the one that made it." 

The journalist Majed Al-Arouri also said that canceling the deal was an important step yet not enough if they did not form an independent committee to investigate the recesses and facts of the deal and hold those involved in the cause into accountability.

The journalist Nawwaf Al-Amer said, "Yes, the Minister of Health, her staff, and everyone involved in the scandal must be dismissed and held accountable. 

Source : Safa