Covid-19: Israel shares surplus vaccines with Palestinians

Israel has shared some of its supply of vaccines.

Serbian Interior Ministry, Getty Images

Israel is giving a “symbolic” amount of surplus Covid-19 vaccines to the Palestinians and to several countries, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Tuesday.

An Israeli official said Honduras was among the recipients. The Central American country said last year it intended to move its Israel embassy to Jerusalem, a diplomatic gain for Israel.

Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its capital, although that is not recognised by most countries. Palestinians seek East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, as the capital of a future independent state.

Israel has been importing Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc vaccines. According to the Health Ministry, it has administered at least one Pfizer dose to almost 50% of its 9 million population as well as to Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

But it has come under foreign criticism for not providing similarly for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

This month the Palestinians received an initial shipment of Moderna vaccines from Israel and have also begun administering Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines in Gaza and the West Bank.

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