COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccineiStock

The Palestinian Authority officially launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Tuesday, with health workers receiving the first shots after the delivery of doses from Israel, Reuters reported.

Medical personnel treating coronavirus patients or working in intensive care units were inoculated at Hugo Chavez hospital in Ramallah.

The campaign began after Israel transferred 2,000 doses of Moderna’s vaccine on Monday and said it had earmarked another 3,000 shots for Palestinian Arabs.

The PA’s “minister of health” Mai Al-Kaila, kicking off the vaccination program, said the PA would receive 5,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine within days and 37,000 doses from the COVAX global vaccine-sharing program.

She estimated it would take several months to complete vaccinations in PA-assigned areas.

People over the age of 60 or with chronic illnesses will be the first to be inoculated among the general public.

Israel was recently criticized in international circles for failing to provide the PA with COVID-19 vaccines. This criticism came from international organizations but also from US lawmakers from the Democratic party, most notably Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Joaquin Castro and Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

However, as former Ambassador Alan Baker pointed out in a recent interview with Arutz Sheva, Israel is in no way obligated to deliver vaccines to Palestinian Arabs or to residents of Gaza.

Israeli Arabs, including those residing in eastern Jerusalem, are being vaccinated as have almost all Arabs in Israeli prisons, including terrorists.

New Hope party chairman Gideon Sa’ar recently told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that Israel would be more than happy to provide vaccines to the PA, but that would only happen once it ensures that its own citizens have been vaccinated.