Palestinian Authority Rejects Aid From UAE Flown to Israel

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(Bloomberg) --

The Palestinian Authority has declined to accept a shipment of coronavirus aid sent by the United Arab Emirates aboard a rare direct flight to Tel Aviv this week.

“We refused the aid from the UAE because it wasn’t coordinated through us or any of our systems,” Health Minister Mai Alkaila said at a press briefing in Bethlehem on Thursday. “We are an authority and have our sovereignty and we can’t accept such aid without coordinating with us.”

The supplies were rejected because the Palestinian Authority doesn’t want to serve as a bridge for the normalization of ties between the UAE and Israel, Palestinian news agency Maan reported earlier.

While Israel and the UAE don’t have diplomatic relations, ties have warmed in recent years, largely over a shared distrust of Iran.

Relations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, meanwhile, have deteriorated, with the latest flare-up fueled by an Israeli plan to annex West Bank settlements on territory the Palestinians want for a future state. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said at a leadership meeting in Ramallah this week that his government is no longer bound by agreements and understandings with Israel.

The Etihad Airways plane that delivered the supplies in a direct flight from Abu Dhabi carried 16 tons of medical equipment, including 10 ventilators, slated for distribution in the West Bank and Gaza.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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