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Coronavirus

Palestine to Receive 10,000 Doses of Russia’s Sputnik V Coronavirus Vaccine

February 4, 2021

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian Authority says it will receive 10,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, allowing it to step up a vaccination campaign launched earlier this week.

Health Minister Mai al-Kaila says in a statement that the doses will arrive Thursday. The Israeli military body responsible for coordinating imports into the occupied territories did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Palestinians began vaccinating medical workers after Israel agreed to transfer 5,000 doses of its own Moderna vaccines. The Palestinians hope to receive tens of thousands of doses later this month through the World Health Organization.

Israel, which has vaccinated around a third of its population of more than 9 million, has faced criticism for not including Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Israel captured both territories in the 1967 war, and the Palestinians want them to be part of their future state. They are home to more than 4.5 million Palestinians.

Israel says it is prioritizing its own citizens. Under interim peace agreements, the Palestinian Authority is responsible for health care in the territories it administers but both sides are supposed to cooperate to combat epidemics.

The Palestinian Authority has not publicly requested vaccines from Israel and has not acknowledged that Israel provided the doses it received earlier this week.

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