Hours after learning of the agreement, Palestinians call off a deal to receive 1 million vaccines from Israel.
The Palestinian Authority has canceled a deal with Israel to receive 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Following the announcement of the arrangement, Palestinian officials received a barrage of criticism online, with many accusing them of receiving vaccines that may or may not be beneficial.
The doses will be transferred in return for a similar amount of doses later this year, according to the newly sworn-in Israeli government. Approximately 85 percent of Israelis have been immunized, and the country has reopened completely.
Palestinian officials, on the other hand, said that the agreement was negotiated directly with Pfizer in order to expedite the delivery of 4 million medicines for which the PA had already paid.
Before the arrangement was called off, Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkaila declared, “This is not an agreement with Israel, but with the Pfizer firm.” According to Alkaila, Palestinian officials discovered that the doses were nearly expired and “did not fit requirements,” thus they were returned.
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According to his spokesman, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh ordered the cancellation of the arrangement and the return of the vaccines to Israel. According to Ibrahim Milhim, who cited an official Israeli announcement, the Palestinians will not take “about-to-expire” immunizations from Israel.
Israel has been chastised for not sharing its immunizations with the 4.5 million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, despite having fully reopened after vaccinating 85 percent of its adult population.
COGAT, the Israeli military authority in charge of civilian affairs in the occupied territories, announced on Friday that the first 100,000 doses had been sent to the West Bank.
After the agreement was revealed, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted, “We will continue to find effective methods to collaborate for the good of people in the region.”
Israel has completed one of the world’s most successful vaccination programs, allowing businesses and schools to reopen. This week, authorities lifted the requirement to wear masks in public, one of the last remaining restrictions.
Rights groups have said that Israel, as an occupying power, is obliged to provide vaccines to the Palestinians. Israel denies having such an obligation, pointing to interim peace agreements reached with the Palestinians in the 1990s.
Those agreements say the PA, which has limited autonomy. This is a brief summary.