Israel confirms vaccination of Palestinians with Israeli work permits

Israel on Sunday confirmed that it will vaccinate Palestinians in the West Bank with permission to work in Jewish settlements in the occupied territory and inside Israel against the coronavirus.

The Palestinian Authority said last week that it had reached an agreement with Israel that would see the Jewish state vaccinate 100,000 Palestinian workers.

The Israeli military branch responsible for civilian affairs in Palestinian territories, COGAT, said in a statement on Sunday that the vaccinations had been “approved by the political echelon”.

The statement added that Israel will “conduct a vaccination campaign for Palestinian workers with employment licenses in Israel and in communities across Judea and Samaria”, which are the biblical names widely used in Israel for the occupied West Bank.

The vaccinations, which will begin “in the coming days”, will take place at crossroads between Israel and the West Bank, as well as inside settlements, COGAT said.

Israel, among the world leaders in coronavirus per capita vaccinations, has faced global calls to ensure that all Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and in Israeli-blocked Gaza are vaccinated.

The Palestinian Authority expects about two million doses ordered from various manufacturers, in addition to doses from the UN-backed Covax program, which was set up to help less wealthy nations obtain vaccines.

The PA said it would share its offer with Hamas Islamists, who control Gaza.