Israel confirms will vaccinate Palestinians with Israeli work permits

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Israel on Sunday confirmed it will vaccinate Palestinians in the West Bank with permits to work in Jewish settlements in the occupied territory and inside Israel against the coronavirus.

The Palestinian Authority said last week it had reached an agreement with Israel that would see the Jewish state vaccinate 100,000 Palestinian labourers.

The Israeli military branch responsible for civil affairs in Palestinian territories, COGAT, said in a statement Sunday the vaccinations had been "approved by the political echelon".

The statement added Israel will "conduct a vaccination campaign for Palestinian workers with employment licenses in Israel and in the communities across Judea and Samaria", which are the biblical names used widely in Israel for the occupied West Bank.

The vaccinations, which will begin "in the coming days", will take place at crossing points between Israel and the West Bank, as well as inside settlements, COGAT said.

Israel, among the world leaders in coronavirus vaccinations per capita, has faced global calls to ensure all Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and in Israeli-blockaded Gaza are vaccinated.

The Palestinian Authority is expecting some two million doses ordered from various manufacturers, in addition to doses from the UN-backed Covax programme, set up to help less wealthy nations procure vaccines.

The PA said it will share its supply with Hamas Islamists, who control Gaza.