JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s office announced on Sunday that Israel had agreed to transfer 5,000 coronovirus vaccines to Palestinians.
It was the first time that Israel has confirmed the transfer of vaccines to Palestinians, who have lagged far behind Israel’s aggressive vaccination campaign and have not yet received any vaccines.
The World Health Organization has raised concerns about the disparity between Israelis and Palestinians living in the Occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and international human rights groups and UN experts have said that the Israeli Palestinians in these areas are doing well Is responsible. Israel says it is not responsible for the Palestinians under interim peace agreements in the 1990s and has not received a request for help in any case.
Gantz’s office said the transfer was approved early Sunday. There was no further details on when this would happen. There was no immediate comment from the Palestinian authorities.
Israel is one of the world’s leaders in vaccinating its population following purchase deals with international drug giants Pfizer and Moderna. The Ministry of Health states that one-third of Israel’s 9.3 million people received the first dose of the vaccine, while 1.7 million people received both doses.
The campaign includes Arab citizens of Israel and Palestinians living in East Jerusalem. But Palestinians living in the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority’s autonomous government and Palestinians living under the Hamas regime in Gaza are not included.
The Palestinian Authority is known through the WHO program as COVAX. But the program, which aims to procure vaccines for essential countries, has been slow to get off the ground.
This controversy reflects global inequality in vaccine access, as rich countries have reduced the amount of lion supplements to zero, leaving even poorer countries in the face of public health and the economic impact of economic epidemics. It has also emerged as another flashpoint in the decades-old Midian conflict, with the virus wreaking havoc on both sides.