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COVID-19 Aid Offers Israel an Opportunity for Regional Reconciliation

MIN READFeb 24, 2021 | 17:42 GMT

A health worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile clinic near Moshav Dalton in northern Israel on Feb. 22, 2021.

A health worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile clinic near Moshav Dalton in northern Israel on Feb. 22, 2021. 

(JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel is using COVID-19 humanitarian support to conduct diplomacy with Syria, and the success of that strategy could prompt similar offers and efforts to thaw Israel's difficult relationship with Lebanon. As part of a recent prisoner exchange with Syria, Israel purchased an undisclosed amount of Russian Sputnik V vaccines for Syria, which has been unable to secure and distribute doses of COVID-19 vaccine due to its crashing currency and battered healthcare system. The deal followed nearly a year of quiet humanitarian cooperation between Hamas and Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now seen Israel allow limited doses of Sputnik V vaccines to enter the Gaza Strip. ...

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