IslamNews – The Palestinian Authority administered its first known coronavirus vaccinations on Tuesday after receiving thousands of doses from Israel, which has already inoculated more than a third of its population.
The Palestinian Health Ministry announced the start of the campaign in a statement, saying Health Minister Mai al-Kaila received a first dose along with several front-line medical workers. The statement did not acknowledge that Israel provided the vaccines.
Even if those deliveries materialize, however, it could take several months to administer enough vaccines to bring the outbreak under control in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which are home to more than 4.5 million Palestinians. Israel is on track to vaccinate its entire adult population by the end of March.
The WHO has expressed concern about the inequity between Israel, which is leading one of the world’s most successful vaccination campaigns, and the Palestinian territories. Israel captured east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 war, lands the Palestinians want for their future state.
Rights groups say Israel has the obligation as an occupying power to vaccinate Palestinians. Israel denies having such a responsibility, and says its priority is its own citizens. Israel is actively providing vaccinations to its Arab citizens and Palestinians living in annexed east Jerusalem.