- Title: Israel launches COVID-19 jabs for Palestinian labourers and settlement workers
- Date: 8th March 2021
- Summary: JERUSALEM (MARCH 8, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PALESTINIAN WORKERS WAITING TO TAKE VACCINE AT CHECKPOINT HEALTH COORDINATOR OF THE CIVIL ADMINISTRATION AMOS ZUATETZ SPEAKING WITH ISRAELI ARMY OFFICIAL .(SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) HEALTH COORDINATOR OF THE CIVIL ADMINISTRATION AMOS ZUATETZ, SAYING: "As of now we plan to vaccinate only the workers. I assume the (Palestinian) Authority is in advanced touch with the makers of the vaccines -Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca -and I really hope that we will see vaccination in the Palestinian Authority launched as soon as possible." SHAAR EFRAIM, ISRAEL (MARCH 8, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PALESTINIAN WORKERS WAITING AT VACCINATION CENTRE AT CHECKPOINT TO BE VACCINATED WORKERS AT VACCINATION CENTRE PALESTINIAN I.D NURSE VACCINATING PALESTINIAN WORKER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN WORKER, AREF MOHAMMAD , SAYING: "They will stop closing the checkpoints on us and we will be able to go back and forth every day and be able to go back to our homes, as you know we used to stay here (Israel) for months because of Coronavirus and hopefully now everything will be easier and we will be able to go back and forth to our homes and stay with our families." NURSE PREPARING VACCINE VARIOUS OF NURSE VACCINATING PALESTINIAN WORKER EXTERIOR OF CROSSING
- Embargoed: 22nd March 2021 14:30
- Keywords: COVID-19 Israel Palestinians crossing vaccination
- Location: JERUSALEM/ SHAAR EFRAIM, ISRAEL
- City: JERUSALEM/ SHAAR EFRAIM, ISRAEL
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003E382FRB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Israel on Monday (March 8) extended its COVID-19 vaccination campaign to Palestinians working in Israel or its West Bank settlements, after facing criticism for not providing more doses to Palestinians in occupied territory.
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have received few vaccine doses to date and lag far behind Israel, which has vaccinated over 40% of its population in one of the world's fastest rollouts.
Amid the disparity, Israeli employers had privately secured doses for thousands of their Palestinian labourers, many of them in construction. On Monday, the government formally extended its program to all 120,000 Palestinians with Israeli work permits.
"We hope others in the West Bank, all of them, (will get) the shots," labourer Qais Ghaith said after receiving his first dose at a military checkpoint near Bethlehem, adding that because he works inside of Israel, "the government obligated (us) to take the shots."
"I hope my kids and my family and for the West Bank, all of them, take the shot (so) all of us (will be) safe," he said.
Around 5,000 Palestinian workers received their first shot on Monday, according to COGAT, a branch of Israel's defence ministry that is co-managing the program.
The West Bank and Gaza, home to a combined 5.2 million Palestinians, have received around 34,700 vaccine doses to date. These came from small donations by Israel and Russia as well as 20,000 sent by the United Arab Emirates to Gaza.
Palestinians have accused Israel of ignoring its duties as an occupying power by not including them in its inoculation program. Rights activists say the workers vaccination campaign does not go far enough.
Israeli officials have said that under the Oslo peace accords, the Palestinian Authority, which has limited self-rule in the West Bank, is responsible for vaccinating Palestinians.
(Production: Eli Berlzon, Ismael Khader, Mustafa abu Ganeyeh, Suheir Sheikh)
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