Israel will give 1 million doses of covid vaccine to the Palestinians

Israel will give 1 million doses of covid vaccine to the Palestinians

Israel will give a minimum of 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to the Palestinian Authority (PA) under a deal to share shots, officials said on Friday, during a boost for the Palestinians' vaccination campaign within the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

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

"Israel will transfer to the Palestinian Authority 1-1.4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine," a joint statement from Bennett's office and therefore the health and defence ministries said.

The Pfizer-BioNTech doses earmarked for transfer "will expire soon", the statement said, and that they were "approved in light of the very fact that Israel's vaccine stock meets its needs today."

A source within the PA health ministry confirmed the deal and said the Palestinians expect to receive a shipment of Pfizer doses in August or September. The Israeli statement said Israel would receive reciprocal doses from the PA in September or October.

Neither side said when the initial Israeli transfer to the PA would be made.

Israel, which led the planet with its swift vaccine roll-out, had faced criticism for not doing more to make sure Palestinian access to doses. Around 55% of eligible Israelis are fully vaccinated.

Some 30% of eligible Palestinians have received a minimum of one vaccine dose, consistent with Palestinian officials.

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