Thousands of Palestinian key-workers will be protected against COVID-19, after Israel promised to provide 5,000 doses of the vaccine to the Palestinian Authority.
The Israeli government will deliver the Pfizer vaccine to the PA next week.
The Jewish News understands that the 5,000 vaccines will be given as a form of humanitarian aid, to support Palestinians during the pandemic.
It is understood that the vaccines will be initially administered to people, including medical workers, who are working in close proximity to those affected by the highly-contagious coronavirus.
This comes after international bodies – including the UN – called on the Jewish State to extend its vaccination programme to Palestinians.
This was echoed by 200 rabbinical figures who signed a petition by the Rabbis for Human Rights group. In the petition, they called on the Israeli government to make vaccines available to people in the West Bank and Gaza.
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, one of the signatories, welcomed the move. The former chair of British Rabbis for Human Rights. said: “This is a hopeful acknowledgement of responsibility.
“This is the right direction of travel and I look forward to this being expanded beyond just these relatively few doses.”
Citizens living in the West Bank are partly-governed by the Palestinian Authority; whilst those in Gaza are ruled by Hamas. However, international bodies have previously called on Israel to deliver vaccines to citizens outside of its region.
Israel is currently leading the world’s vaccination programme, with all of its citizens over the age of 16 expected to receive the vaccine by April this year. That includes Israeli Jews, Muslims, Christians and citizens of no faith.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the country’s vaccination programme. In a tweet on Friday, he said: “We could be the first country in the world to emerge from coronavirus, open the economy and come back to life.”
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