After Denial, Israel Says It Provided COVID Vaccines to Palestinian Authority

State tells High Court of Justice 100 vaccines were given to the Palestinians, with another delivery expected in a week and a half

Netael Bandel
Netael Bandel
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A coronavirus vaccine is administered in Jerusalem, January 11, 2021.
A coronavirus vaccine is administered in Jerusalem, January 11, 2021.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Netael Bandel
Netael Bandel

Israel has provided coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian Authority, the government said on Tuesday, rolling back its previous claim that the Palestinians have not received any vaccines.

The government told the High Court of Justice that a shipment of 100 vaccine doses was provided in response to the Palestinians' request and that another shipment is expected to arrive in about a week and a half. The delivery was approved by Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, according to the government. 

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So far just under two million Israelis have received a first dose of the vaccine. 

The statement contradicts a previous response by the state last week to a petition filed by the family of Hadar Goldin, a soldier whose body has been held in Gaza since 2014, requesting that the government refuse to deliver vaccines to Gaza until Hamas releases the body. 

Tuesday's announcement said the National Security Council, which is a signatory to the response made to that petition, was not aware of the shipment sent last week and therefore believed the PA had no vaccines.

Aviad Cohen, representing the Goldin family on behalf of the Academic Center for Law and Science, said: “The state’s response says it all and supports the claim in the petition. The left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing, and information about the transfer of goods, medicine and equipment to people in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority is hidden from the public and even from the NSC. Unfortunately, the Israeli government continues to drag the families of the soldiers and captives in Gaza through the mud, publicly as well as privately.”

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