Israel Vaccinated 105,000 Palestinian Workers Against COVID With First Dose

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A Palestinian man working in the settlement industrial zone of Barkan in the West Bank gets vaccinated.
A Palestinian man working in the settlement industrial zone of Barkan in the West Bank gets vaccinated.Credit: MENAHEM KAHANA - AFP

Israel has administered the first dose of the COVID vaccine to 105,000 Palestinians who have permits to work in Israel or in West Bank settlements, completing the first stage of its campaign to vaccinate them, the Coordinator for Government Activity in the Territories – the government body that oversees civilian matters in the West Bank – said Thursday.

On April 4, the dedicated vaccination centers – eight at checkpoints, and five within settlements – will reopen so the second doses can start being given, according to the COGAT statement.

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Last week, Israel began vaccinating Palestinians working in Israel and West Bank settlements.

On Monday, David Elhayani, the leader of the Yesha Council of West Bank mayors called on the Israeli government to vaccinate all Palestinians living in the West Bank during a meeting with the chairman of the Palestinian Workers' Organization Mohammed Arif Masad.

Last week, Israel's Health Ministry told Physicians for Human Rights that Palestinians who are living in Israel without legal residency may receive the vaccine.

The group, which Physicians for Human Rights estimates number in the thousands, comprises of Palestinians in many different situations: at-risk groups such as suspected collaborators with Israel and those who left the Palestinian territories because of their sexuality, as well as Palestinians who lack legal residency status but whose “center of life” is in Israel because of marriage.

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