Israel has started vaccinating Palestinian workers against Covid-19, pledging to inoculate 120,000 over the next two weeks.
Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency medical service, has been tasked with implementing the campaign alongside the Health Ministry and the Office of the Coordinator of the Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and is aiming to vaccinate around 1,000 Palestinians a day.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein visited vaccination centres this week, welcoming coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. “This is the future. This is peace. This is coexistence”, he said.
Last week, the Palestinian Authority (PA) confirmed that batches of the first Covid-19 vaccines it received did not go to Palestinian healthcare workers as pledged but were instead allocated to government officials, the Jordanian royal court and the Palestinian national football team.
Yesterday, the PA received 40,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, a donation from the United Arab Emirates.
Over five million Israelis have now received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and more than 3.7 million have also had the second. Restaurants and bars reopened this week as infection rates continue to decline.