Israel starts vaccinating Palestinians with work papers
- The vaccine drive started with a pilot test of 700 people
- Palestinian workers would receive doses of the Moderna vaccine
- Over 135,000 Palestinians in the West Bank have been infected till now
Israel on Thursday began giving coronavirus vaccinations to Palestinians in the West Bank with permits to work in Jewish settlements in the occupied territory and inside Israel.
"The vaccination campaign for Palestinian workers began Thursday with a pilot test on 700 people with work permits in Israel," said COGAT, the Israeli military branch responsible for civil affairs in Palestinian territories.
The Palestinian Authority said on February 19 that it had reached an agreement with Israel that would see the Jewish state vaccinate 100,000 Palestinian labourers.
The main COVID-19 vaccination campaign, carried out by COGAT and the Israeli health ministry, would begin on Sunday "in seven sites located at entry points" of the occupied West Bank to Israel and in industrial areas of Israeli settlements, COGAT said.
Palestinian workers would receive doses of the Moderna vaccine, it added.
Palestinians in east Jerusalem, occupied territory annexed by Israel, can get vaccinated against COVID-19 like the rest of the Israeli population.
More than 4.88 million Israelis, or 60% of the population, have received at least a first dose since the launch of Israel's vaccination campaign under an agreement with Pfizer.
The Palestinians have received just over 30,000 vaccine doses, including 2,000 from Israel, which has pledged to provide 5,000 doses.
More than 135,000 Palestinians in the West Bank have been infected since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,534 of whom have died, out of a population of 2.8 million.