Thu | Jul 29, 2021
Israel

Palestinians call off one million dose vaccine exchange

Published:Saturday | June 19, 2021 | 12:08 AM

JERUSALEM (AP):

The Palestinian Authority called off an agreement whereby Israel would transfer one million doses of coronavirus vaccines to it in exchange for a similar number later this year, hours after the deal was announced on Friday.

The Palestinians said the doses, which Israel began shipping to the occupied West Bank, are too close to expiring and do not meet their standards. In announcing the agreement, Israel had said the vaccines “will expire soon” without specifying the date.

Palestinian officials had come under heavy criticism on social media after the agreement was announced, with many accusing them of accepting subpar vaccines and suggesting they might not be effective.

There was no immediate comment from Israel, which had largely shut down for the weekly Sabbath.

Israel said Friday it would transfer around one million doses of soon-to-expire coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for a similar number of doses the Palestinians expect to receive later this year.

Israel, which has fully reopened after vaccinating some 85 per cent of its adult population, has faced criticism for not sharing its vaccines with the 4.5 million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.