Palestinian Authority Has Halted Exchange Of 1M Vaccination Doses With Israel

JERUSALEM — hours after the arrangement was announced on Friday, the Palestinian Authority broke off an agreement in which Israel would send 1 million doses of coronavirus vaccinations to it in return for a comparable quantity later this year.

The dosages, which Israel began delivering to the occupied West Bank, are too near to expiry, according to the Palestinians, and do not match their requirements. Israel had stated in its announcement of the deal that the vaccinations “would expire shortly,” without giving a timeframe.

Following the announcement of the deal, Palestinian authorities faced widespread criticism on social media, with many accusing them of accepting substandard vaccinations and implying that they would not be effective.

Israel, which had mostly shut down for the weeklong Sabbath, had made no immediate reaction.

Israel said on Friday that it will provide the Palestinian Authority about 1 million doses of soon-to-expire coronavirus vaccinations in return for a comparable number of doses that the Palestinians will get later this year.

Israel has been chastised for not sharing its vaccinations 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.

The imbalance has played out all throughout the world, with the majority of vaccinations going to wealthier nations. As those nations have progressed in managing their own epidemics, they have just begun committing supplies for poorer countries that have been left behind for months.

The Palestinian Authority would compensate Israel with a comparable quantity of vaccinations when it receives them from Pfizer in September or October, according to the new Israeli administration, which was sworn in on Sunday. The Israeli government announced in a statement that up to 1.4 million doses may be swapped.

After the agreement was revealed, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted, “We will continue to find effective methods to work for the good of people in the area.”

COGAT, the Israeli military organization in charge of civilian affairs in the occupied territories, said on Friday that the first 100,000 doses had been sent to the West Bank.

The Palestinians characterized the arrangement in a different light, claiming that Pfizer recommended the transfer to expedite the delivery of 4 million pills that the PA had previously paid for in a direct agreement with the drug firm.

Before the contract was called off, Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkaila remarked, “This is not an agreement with Israel, but with the Pfizer business.”

She stated during a news conference Friday evening that health authorities who assessed the vaccinations discovered they “did not satisfy criteria” and that they were “returned.”

According to his spokesperson, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh ordered the termination of the deal and the return of the vaccinations to Israel. According to Ibrahim Milhim, who cited an official Israeli declaration, the Palestinians will not receive “about-to-expire” vaccinations from Israel.

Pfizer vaccines, which were approved in the United States in December, generally have a six-month shelf life. It was unclear when the 1 million batches that Israel was supposed to deliver to the Palestinians would be ready.

According to an Israeli security officer, the vaccinations delivered on Friday would expire in two weeks. Further shipments were scheduled at intervals several weeks ahead of expiration, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak to the media.

Israel has completed one of the world’s most effective immunization campaigns, allowing businesses and schools to reopen. One of the last remaining limitations, the necessity to wear masks in public, was eliminated this week.

According to human rights organizations, Israel, as an occupying authority, is obligated to deliver vaccinations to Palestinians. Israel denies having such a responsibility, citing interim peace accords with the Palestinians in the 1990s as evidence.

The PA, which has limited authority in sections of the occupied West Bank, is responsible for health care, according to the accords, but the two sides should work together to prevent pandemics. More than 100,000 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank who work within Israel, as well as Palestinians in east Jerusalem, have been provided vaccinations.

Gaza is governed by Hamas, an Islamic militant organization that Israel and Western nations consider a terrorist organization. Officials in Israel have proposed that any vaccination shipment to Gaza be linked to the release of two Israeli hostages and the bodies of two soldiers held by Hamas.

lgnews-Palestinian-Authority-Has-Halted.2The Palestinian Authority has stated that it will obtain its own supply through partnerships with private firms and a World Health Organization initiative aimed at assisting developing nations.

Approximately 380,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and 50,000 in Gaza have received vaccinations to date. In the two territories, almost 300,000 illnesses have been reported, with 3,545 fatalities.

In the 1967 Mideast war, Israel took control of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. The Palestinians aspire to establish a state in each of the three regions. In more than a decade, there have been no meaningful peace discussions.

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