Palestinian leaders rejects UAE medical aid sent via Israel


Jerusalem: Amid the coronavirus outbreak, even though most countries are struggling to match the requirement of medical equipment, the Palestinian authorities have rejected UAE’s aid that was sent via Israel.

In a news conference on Thursday, Mai Kaila said her country refused to receive the medical aid as the Emirati side ignored to coordinate with them, international media reported.

“The UAE has not coordinated with us regarding the medical aid, and we reject to receive it without coordination,” said the minister.

“We are a sovereign country, and they should have coordinated with us first.”

Earlier on Thursday, Maan News Agency, known for being close to the PA, said citing informed sources the decision came as the aid arrived at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

On Tuesday, an Emirati flight carrying medical aid for Palestinians landed at an Israeli airport after taking off from Abu Dhabi, marking the first public flight between the two states despite the UAE not having any official ties with Israel.

Etihad Airways, the state-owned air carrier, confirmed the flight.

“Etihad Airways operated a dedicated humanitarian cargo flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv on 19 May to provide medical supplies to the Palestinians,” the airline told The Associated Press news agency on Tuesday.

Israeli journalist Itay Blumental tweeted two photos of the aircraft, with the caption: “To Palestinians, with love from Abu Dhabi through Israel.”

“The UAE authorities did not coordinate with the state of Palestine before sending the aid,” the government sources said, adding that “Palestinians refuse to be a bridge [for Arab countries] seeking to have normalised ties with Israel.”

They asserted that any assistance meant to be sent to the Palestinian people should be coordinated with the PA first.

“Sending them directly to Israel constitutes a cover for normalisation,” they added.

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