Covid-19 vaccination campaign for Palestinian workers in Israel

Jerusalem, Mar 8 (efe-epa).- Israel on Monday began a coronavirus vaccination rollout for the Palestinians legally working on the Israeli territories and settlements through centers set up in the occupied West Bank’s military crossings.

 “Today we inaugurate the vaccination campaign” for the Palestinian employees, Kamil Abu Rukun, coordinator of the COGAT, the Israeli military body in charge of civil affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories, said in a statement.

The coronavirus vaccination is of a “common health and economic interest” for both Israelis and Palestinians living in “the same epidemiological region,” he added.

The process aims to inoculate around 120,000 Palestinian employees in Israel and its settlements.

The first phase of the campaign will last for two weeks to administer the first dose, while a second, 14-day phase will start in early April to inject the second jab.

Palestinians have to apply for an appointment and arrange the application with their Israeli employer to get vaccinated, COGAT explained.

Around 20 percent of the West Bank workers are believed to be employed in the Israeli labor market.

Israel leads the world’s fastest vaccination campaign with over half of its 9.2 million inhabitants receiving at least the first dose, while 3.7 million took the second jab.

International organizations and NGOs have reminded Israel of its “legal and moral” responsibility to facilitate the vaccination of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza as “occupying power.”

The West Bank has been facing a spike in the coronavirus cases, reporting over 2,000 cases on Sunday, which prompted the authorities to impose lockdown in some areas. EFE-EPA

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