Photo by Eitan Elhadez-Barak/TPS on 22 December, 2020

IDF Initiates Op to Vaccinate PA Residents Working in Israel 

Arab Affairs By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 8 March, 2021

Jerusalem, 8 March, 2021 (TPS) -- The IDF has launched a Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination campaign for workers coming from the Palestinian Authority (PA) to work in Israel on Monday, the IDF’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced.

Some 120,000 PA Arabs will be vaccinated by Israeli medical teams with Moderna vaccines, which have been allocated by the state, at eight different locations throughout Judea and Samaria.

A pilot conducted on Thursday at the vaccination compound that opened at Shaar Ephraim ended successfully and the first 700 workers were vaccinated.

Hundreds of workers arrived at the eight locations on Monday to receive the first of their two shots.

“As part of the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus” and in accordance with the COGAT’s recommendation and Israel’s Ministry of Health, Israel’s leadership approved last week the vaccination campaign for Palestinian workers with employment licenses in Israel, “in order to maintain public health and the functioning of the economy.”

The operation, led by the IDF’s Central Command, COGAT, the Ministry of Health, and the Crossings Authority, included the establishment of dedicated vaccination complexes at several crossings in Judea and Samaria and in industrial areas throughout Judea and Samaria.

COGAT commander Major General Kamil Abu Rukun stated that the vaccination operation serves a “common health and economic interest as we live in one epidemiological space, and we must all take part in the effort to eradicate the spread of the Coronavirus in the area while maintaining public health and the functioning of the economy. Only in this way can we defeat the corona, and restore the routine of life.”

The pandemic is raging in the PA and the pace of vaccinations by its health ministry is slow.

Kamal Shakhra, head of the Coronavirus section at the Ministry of Health, told the Voice of Palestine Radio on Sunday that the health system is “working at its maximum capacity around the clock” and warned of its collapse due to the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases.