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BDS founder: 'No problem' taking coronavirus vaccine if Israel develops it

BDS founder: 'No problem' taking coronavirus vaccine if Israel develops it
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Omar Barghouti, the founder of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, said his group will accept a coronavirus vaccine if Israel develops it, the Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.  

Barghouti said lifesaving goods such as medical equipment have always been exempt from the boycott. 

“If you use medical equipment from Israel — it’s not a problem. Cooperating with Israel against the virus — to begin with, we didn’t consider it normalization,” he said “The BDS announced normalization criteria long ago. If Israel finds a cure for cancer, for example, or any other virus, then there is no problem in cooperating with Israel to save millions of lives.”

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The BDS movement was founded to press Israel on human rights issues in its conflict with Palestinians. Last year the Democratic-controlled House passed a bill in opposition to the movement. 

Barghouti added that Israel is "continuing to exploit Palestinian workers,” without providing them the “simplest protection against the virus.” The movement also accused the Israeli government of continuing "looting of land, arrests, oppression and killing" during the pandemic.

The United Nations has described the cooperation between Israel and Palestine, with regard to tackling coronavirus, as “excellent,” and its Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says there has been "unprecedented cooperation on efforts aimed at containing the epidemic."