The Palestinian Authority said on Sunday it expects to receive its first COVID-19 vaccine doses in March under a deal with drugmaker AstraZeneca, and accused Israel of shirking a duty to ensure vaccines are available in the territory.
While Israel has already become the world leader in vaccinations per capita, Palestinians in West Bank and the Gaza Strip have yet to secure their first supplies.
Yasser Bozyeh, the Palestinian general director of public health, told Reuters that in addition to reaching an agreement in principle with AstraZeneca, the Palestinians had also sought supplies from Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Russia, which has developed the Sputnik V vaccine.
Supplies would also come through a World Health Organization vaccine programme for poor and middle income countries.
There was no immediate response from AstraZeneca to an emailed request from Reuters for comment.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Israel had been "ignoring its duties as an occupation power and committing racial discrimination against the Palestinian people, depriving them of their right to healthcare."
"The search by the Palestinian leadership to secure the vaccines from various sources doesn't exempt Israel from its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people in providing the vaccines," it said.
Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, however, the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the healthcare of its own population and has repeatedly said it is obtaining its own vaccines via a UN scheme.
Human rights groups including Amnesty International say Israel has a legal obligation to provide vaccines for Palestinians under occupation. Israeli officials say they could share vaccines with the Palestinians once Israel's own needs are met.
A WHO official said on Sunday the organization had held "informal discussions" with Israel over allocating some supplies to the Palestinians to inoculate health workers.
The official, Gerald Rockenschaub, head of the WHO office in the Palestinian territories, said Israel indicated it would explore the option.