Israel Postpones Drive to Vaccinate Palestinian Workers

Medics and police officers check a shipment of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine inside a truck at the Kerem Shalom border crossing, in Rafah, Gaza Strip, on February 17. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Israel on Friday postponed plans to vaccinate Palestinians who work inside the country until further notice.

COGAT, the Israeli military agency coordinating day-to-day affairs with the Palestinian Authority, attributed the postponement to “administrative delays,” adding that a new start date for the campaign would be determined later.

The vaccination program was supposed to begin on Sunday at PA crossings into Israel and at Israeli industrial zones.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with leaders of Denmark and Austria said the three nations would join forces in the fight against COVID-19 with an investment in research and roll-out of vaccines.

Some 100,000 Palestinian laborers from the PA work in Israel. The PA had acquired enough dose for only 6,000 of its people — meaning the vast majority of the estimated 7 million Palestinians in Yehudah, Shomron and the Gaza Strip will remain unvaccinated.