Israel has gone to great lengths and donated generously to protect Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from the coronavirus pandemic, but our lifesaving assistance has been greeted by Palestinians spreading lies and inciting hatred against Israel and the Jewish people.

The Palestinian Authority that governs much of the West Bank and the terrorist group Hamas that rules the Gaza Strip have been happy to accept massive amounts of Israeli assistance, which includes:

Professional medical training for Palestinians to share best practices and ensure they have tools and knowledge required to protect themselves against the coronavirus.

Thousands of coronavirus testing kits and protective gear for Palestinians.

Over 200 tons of medical supplies, 50 tons of building materials, and a dozen tons of food to help Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, despite the territory being ruled Hamas, which does not even recognize Israel’s right to exist and regularly launches rocket attacks on civilians in the Jewish state.

Under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority is fabricating a false narrative about Israel that has taken on anti-Semitic undertones. The authority falsely accuses Israel of deliberately obstructing Palestinian efforts to combat the virus – but the exact opposite is true.

In perhaps the most obscene defamation – akin to the infamously anti-Semitic blood libels – the Palestinian Authority accuses Israeli soldiers of deliberately spreading the virus among the Palestinian population.

In official letters to the United Nations, Palestinian Authority slanders include the wild claim that Israel is smuggling Palestinian workers back into Palestinian-controlled territory via wastewater tunnels to avoid testing checkpoints, with the hope of infecting other Palestinians.

In perhaps the most obscene defamation – akin to the infamously anti-Semitic blood libels – the Palestinian Authority accuses Israeli soldiers of deliberately spreading the virus among the Palestinian population.

Israel using anti-terror technology to fight spread of coronavirus

The Palestinian Authority is far more interested in escalating its diplomatic warfare against Israel than in saving Palestinian lives in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Abbas and his colleagues are trying to change the conversation away from cooperation with Israel and into slandering.

As the Palestinian Authority injects these poisonous lies into the global discussion, it is willing to accept not just aid from Israel but from the U.S., despite its repeated denunciations of President Trump and its refusal to even consider the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan that President Trump proposed and that Israel accepted as the basis for negotiations.

The U.S. recently generously appropriated over $5 million to help the Palestinians fight the coronavirus.

The Palestinian Authority is going to have to choose between receiving assistance to fight the coronavirus and continuing to slander Israel with hate-filled propaganda and lies. It cannot have both.

Last month, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a call for a “global truce” and increased international cooperation to fight the common viral enemy. Israel took this to heart and increased its efforts to ensure the Palestinians living under the thumb of the Palestinian Authority receive the aid they need.

Israel was an early adopter of the social distancing restrictions that have been instrumental in limiting the virus’ spread.

The coronavirus does not recognize international borders, much less armistice lines such as the Green Line marking Israel’s borders before the Jewish state was attacked by the armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan in the Six-Day War in 1967.

So Israel has applied the same public health restriction to Israelis and Palestinians alike – the same type of restrictions as applied in the U.S. and many other nations.

Goodwill should be a two-way street. And yet, while Israel extends an open hand of assistance to the Palestinians, our aid is accepted but greeted with clenched fists of rage and hatred.

Despite this, Israel continues to take extensive measures to guarantee that those Palestinians permitted to enter Israel for work are able to continue to do so, ensuring they are able to earn wages to care for their families.

Beyond these specific efforts, Israel continues to work with other countries and international organizations to facilitate the movement of protective equipment, goods and organization representatives to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

We have joined the efforts to fund the U.N. emergency plan for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Our ambassadors around the world are encouraging their host countries to contribute as well.

In a Security Council meeting at the end of March, Nickolay Mladenov, the secretary-general’s special envoy to the Middle East, praised the far-reaching measures that Israel has taken in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The Security Council itself also welcomed cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians and expressed hope that this goodwill will continue.

Goodwill should be a two-way street. And yet, while Israel extends an open hand of assistance to the Palestinians, our aid is accepted but greeted with clenched fists of rage and hatred.

Of course, the Palestinian Authority’s evil incitements and lies leveled against Israel are nothing new. But during a global pandemic – as nations’ resources are being marshaled to defeating the virus – it is truly disgusting that Abbas and his corrupt leadership are focused on scoring cheap political points.

The Palestinian Authority wants to have its cake and eat it too. This outrageous behavior should not be tolerated, much less during a global pandemic.

If Abbas and the PA leadership cannot put aside their endemic hostility towards Israel to help protect the Palestinian people now, how can they be expected to do so after the current crisis?

The truth is that the Palestinian people still need necessary medical and economic resources to fight the coronavirus – and Israel is their primary source of this vital assistance. Sadly, it is clear that Israel is more concerned with the health and welfare of the Palestinian people than their supposed representative government, the Palestinian Authority.

Times of crisis reveal the true moral character of a person or society. In the current global pandemic, we are witnessing extraordinary acts of selflessness and camaraderie both within and across nations. Israel is proud to stand with nations united against the viral enemy that faces us all. It’s too bad the Palestinian Authority’s hatred of Israel is far stronger than its concern for its own people.

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