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PA cancels COVID-19 vaccine deal with Israel

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Friday cancelled the agreement with Israel to receive between 1 million and 1.4 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, just hours after it was signed.

The PA’s “minister of health”, Mai al-Kaila, said in a press conference that the decision to cancel the deal is due to the fact that many of the doses are set to expire soon.

“The competent teams in the ministry found that the vaccines we received today from Israel did not meet the specifications, so the government decided to return them,” said PA health minister Mai al-Kaila.

According to the agreement, announced by Israel earlier on Friday, the State of Israel would transfer to the PA between 1 million and 1.4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine that are set to expire soon.

In exchange for the vaccines to be transferred to the PA, Israel will receive an identical quantity of new vaccine doses from Pfizer during September and October 2021, in place of the consignment earmarked for the PA.

The arrangement was approved in light of the fact that Israel has a sufficient quantity of vaccines to meet all of its current needs.

The PA officially launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign in February, after Israel transferred 2,000 doses of Moderna vaccines and said it had earmarked another 3,000 shots for Palestinian Arabs.

Despite getting thousands of doses from Israel as well as vaccines from Russia and as part of the COVAX initiative, the PA has been critical of Israel and has accused it of holding up the transfer of vaccines.

At the same time, the PA has acknowledged it provided COVID-19 vaccines to senior PA officials and to the Jordanian royal family.

Source: Arutz Sheva