The Palestinian government has canceled a deal under which Israel was to give to it at least one million doses of vaccine. Authority canceled a deal on Friday to receive soon-to-expire COVID-19 vaccines from Israel after an initial Israeli shipment showed an expiration date sooner than had been agreed, the PA health minister said.
“They told us the expiry date was in July or August but turned out to be in June where there is no enough time to use them. so we rejected it” PA Health minister Mia Alkiala told the reporters.
Palestinian officials had come under heavy criticism on social media after the agreement was announced, with Palestinians accusing them of accepting subpar vaccines and suggesting they might not be effective.
The PA canceled the deal over the date issue, a PA spokesman said and sent the initial shipment of around 90,000 doses back to Israel.
Israeli officials argue that under the Oslo peace accords, the PA health ministry is responsible for vaccinating people in Gaza and parts of the West Bank where it has limited self-rule. Bennett, who was sworn in on Sunday and replaced veteran leader Benjamin Netanyahu has moved towards the initial policy of vaccine deal.
Israel has completely reopened after carrying out a highly successful vaccination campaign but has faced criticism for not sharing its supplies with the 4.5 million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.