WORLD Israel says to send 5,000 vaccine doses to Palestinians


Israel says to send 5,000 vaccine doses to Palestinians


20:03, January 31, 2021

Israel's defence ministry said Sunday that it would send 5,000 coronavirus vaccine doses to the Palestinian Authority to inoculate medical personnel, following global calls for Israel to ensure Palestinians are vaccinated.

A health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at Clalit Health Services, in Israel’s Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv on Jan. 23, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

"I confirm we are going to send 5,000 vaccines to medical teams in the Palestinian Authority," a spokesperson for Defence Minister Benny Gantz told AFP.

The Jewish state has launched an aggressive coronavirus vaccine campaign on Israeli territory, an effort widely regarded as the world's fastest per capita.

More than three million of the country's nine million people have received the first of two required jabs of the Pfizer vaccine.

Vaccinations have not yet begun in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory under Israeli military occupation since the 1967 Six Day War.

The Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank city of Ramallah, has not publicly asked for Israel's help procuring vaccines against the virus.

The PA has however announced procurement agreements with four vaccine providers, including the makers of Russia's Sputnik V.

The Palestine Liberation Organization has urged the international community "to hold Israel to account" and ensure that it provides vaccines to all Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

The United Nations and Jordan's King Abdullah II have also called on Israel to help ensure that the 2.8 million Palestinians in the West Bank and two million in Gaza are inoculated against the virus.

Hamas, an Islamist group that controls the Gaza strip, is not likely to publicly collaborate with Israel on any vaccination effort.

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