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Palestinians refuse UAE medical aid for second time

The Palestinians refused medical aid from the United Arab Emirates transported the previous day by Etihad Airways on Wednesday, saying it was coordinated with Israel rather than with them.

This is the second time in less than a month that the Palestinian Authority has rejected aid sent by the Emirates.

A flight by the UAE carrier Etihad Airways landed Tuesday evening in Israel, responsible for humanitarian and medical aid to help the Palestinians contain the new coronavirus.

“We refuse to receive it because it was coordinated directly between Israel and them (the Emirates),” Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said. “We were not involved in the coordination,” he added.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Tuesday to foreign press in the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah (West Bank): “The flight from the Emirates took us by surprise, there was no coordination with us, we learned about it through the media.”

The Palestinian Authority had already refused aid sent by the Emirates nearly three weeks ago on a first Etihad flight that landed at Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv.

The UAE’s move comes amid tensions between Israelis and Palestinians linked to the Israeli plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, presented by Washington.

Israel must unveil on July 1 its strategy for the implementation of this plan, which notably provides for a Palestinian state on an amputated territory and excludes a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians reject this plan altogether and try to mobilize their support, especially in Europe, in order to put pressure on Israel so that it abandons its project of annexation.

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