Israel’s defense ministry has announced that they will send nearly 5,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to the Palestinian authority. There are reports that several international governments and organizations had urged the Israeli government to provide Covid-19 vaccination to Palestinians. King Abdullah of Jordan and the United Nations had urged Israel to give vaccines to the 2.8 million Palestinians in the West Bank and two million in Gaza.
Jerusalem Post reported that Israel would start transferring Covid-19 vaccines to the Palestinian Authority on February 1. The vaccines will be sent in four rounds, February 1 to be the first among them.
Vaccines will be used for medical personnel
The World Health Organization had shown concerns over the disparity between Israel and Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. UN and human rights groups had said that Israel is responsible for the well-being of the Palestinians. However, Israel had been told that under interim peace agreements reached in the 1990s, the Palestinians are not responsible. Israel also emphasized the fact that they had not received any request for help from the Palestinians.
The vaccines sent by Israel will be sufficient for the medical personnel among Palestinians. A spokesperson for Defence Minister Benny Gantz said, “I confirm we are going to send 5,000 vaccines to medical teams in the Palestinian Authority,” said a spokesperson for Defence Minister Benny Gantz.” Notably, the Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank city of Ramallah, did not seek help from the Israeli government for the Covid-19 vaccines publicly.
Earlier, the Palestine Liberation Organization had alleged that Israel had caused a shortage of vaccines. PLO had urged the international organizations to hold Israel accountable for the shortage and requested them to provide Palestinian vaccines. The Palestinian Authority also announced that they plan to procure vaccines from Russia’s Sputnik V and three others.