Israel Allegedly Damages 100,000 Swab Test Kits for Palestine

Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kailah accused Israel of damaging 100,000 swab test kits by blocking the passage of clinical kits from Jordan to Palestine.

A Palestinian medical worker taking a swab sample from a man at a mosque in Gaza City to detect potential Covid-19 cases. (AFP / Mahmud Hams)

ACTNews, GAZA - Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kailah accused Israel of damaging 100,000 swab test kits for Palestine. Speaking to the official Voice of Palestine Radio, al-Kailah stated that the measures taken by Israel have resulted in the shortage of swab kits necessary for testing Covid-19, Tuesday (9/22).

“What is available at the ministry is sufficient to conduct examinations for only three days,” she said, adding that there were “promises” that the next batch of swabs will arrive by Wednesday. Israeli authorities have not commented on these allegations. Israel controls the Al-Karama border crossing, the only crossing point between the West Bank and Jordan.

The United Nations predicts this week that global donor aid to Palestine will fall to its lowest in a decade. To deal with the shortage, the World Health Organization (WHO) provided as many as 20,000 swab test kits for the Gaza Strip area.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, praised WHO for delivering 20,000 swabs and laboratory extraction supplies for 6,000 tests in response to the acute shortages, he stated on his Twitter.

A man wearing a mask in the Al-Quds area, as an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Palestine. (AFP / Ahmad Gharabli)

The current coronavirus pandemic has also worsened the situation in the Palestinian territories. Several areas have been on lockdown since last August, hindering the activities of the Palestinians.

"Limited outdoor activities have been allowed in several areas. People living in Gazan areas that have fewer Covid-19 cases are allowed to carry out activities outside while wearing masks. Some areas are still on total lockdown due to high number of Covid-19 cases,” said Said Mukaffiy from the Global Humanity Response (GHR) Team - Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) this Saturday (9/26). This policy has been in effect since last week.

Responding to the conditions in Palestine, ACT has been delivering assistance funded by the generosity of Indonesian people. On Thursday (9/10), ACT provided vitamins and cleaning supplies to the internally displaced people at Al-Nuseirate Camp, Central Gaza. GHR - ACT Team also plans to send food aid. "Considering that currently the Gazans are in an urgent need of food, we are already planning for further assistance, Inshallah," added Said.

Amid multiple crises in which the Palestinians have been living, Covid-19 continues to spread in Palestine. On Friday (25/9), the Palestinian health authorities reported 452 Palestinians tested positive for coronavirus, and five others died in the occupied territories of Palestine. Therefore, Said invited everyone to contribute to the alleviation of the Palestinians’ burdens.

"We invite generous donors to continue helping the lives of Gazans. You can give you best alms through the Indonesia Dermawan website or BNI Syariah account number 6600003314 in the name of Aksi Cepat Tanggap, ” invited Said. []