Israel approves plan to vaccinate Palestinian workers

The Palestinians have obtained just a few thousand vaccines on their own, despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay terrorists who kill and maim Israelis.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Israel on Sunday announced plans to vaccinate tens of thousands of Palestinians who work inside Israel, including Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Israel has launched one of the world’s most successful vaccination programs, inoculating over half of its population in just two months. But anti-Israel activists and media outlets such as BBC, The New York Times and NBC have claimed falsely or implied that Israel has an obligation to vaccinate Arabs who live under the rule of the Palestinian Authority, a contention that flies in the face of the Oslo Accords.

The Israeli government approved the program for Palestinian workers to “maintain public health and the functioning of the economy,” said COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. It said the program is expected to begin in the coming days.

It said the vaccines would be administered by Israeli medical teams in various locations in Judea and Samaria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has moved aggressively to vaccinate Israel’s population, securing deals with drug makers Pfizer and Moderna to ensure enough supplies for Israel’s 9.3 million people. He expects to have the vast majority of the adult population vaccinated by the end of March.

But before Sunday’s announcement, Israel has shared 2,000 vaccines with the Palestinian Authority to protect front-line medical workers in Judea and Samaria.

The Israeli program should provide some relief to the Palestinians, who have obtained just a few thousand vaccines on their own, despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay terrorists, who kill and maim Israelis, and their families.

The Palestinians were forced over the weekend to impose a new lockdown to control the latest coronavirus outbreak in Palestinian-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria. Some 110,000 Palestinians from Judea and Samaria have permits to work inside Israel.

Under the peace accords of the 1990s, Israel is not responsible for the Palestinian healthcare system. Israel has immunized its own Arab population, including Palestinians who live in eastern portions of Jerusalem.

Despite this fact, NBC’s Michael Che, who presents the “Weekend Update” segment on “Saturday Night Live,” joked that Israel only vaccinated its Jewish citizens, promoting under the guise of satire a modern-day version of classic anti-Semitic blood libels.

Netanyahu announced that he was sharing small quantities of surplus vaccines with diplomatic allies. An Israeli TV station said the countries included Honduras, Guatemala, Chad and Mauritania.