Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Israel to send 1 million COVID-19 doses to Palestine

In return, Israel would receive the same amount of doses from a Pfizer shipment for the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the autumn.

• June 18, 2021
Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett
Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett [Photo Credit: Al Jazeera]

Israel on Friday said it will transfer around one  million doses of soon-to-expire coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in exchange for a similar number of doses the Palestinians expect to receive later this year.

Under the terms of the deal, announced by new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office, the PA agreed to give Israel a reciprocal number of doses from one of its own shipments due to arrive later this year.

In return, Israel would receive the same amount of doses from a Pfizer shipment for the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the autumn, it said.

The PA did not initially confirm the transaction.

Israel’s Government wrote in the memo that it was giving the doses to the PA because its own supply met the current needs in the country.

According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, almost 5.5 million people in the country of nine million have already received a single vaccination dose, and about 5.1 million have already received the two required for full protection.

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, on the other hand, with five million inhabitants, only 440,000 people had received a single vaccination, and 261,000 already received two, according to the Ministry of Health in Ramallah.

The human rights organisation Amnesty International as well as U.S. lawmakers had accused Israel of ignoring the Palestinians with their vaccination campaign. 

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