The West Bank settlement of Ariel will open a special coronavirus vaccination center for workers from the Palestinian Authority, its mayor said on Wednesday.
Ariel Mayor Eliyahu Shaviro said that the Health Ministry gave approval for the vaccinations to be administered to the Palestinian workers after he exerted “prolonged pressure” on it.
“It is important to emphasize that we are working with the Palestinians, and the fact that the Palestinian Authority does not vaccinate its citizens poses a health risk to the Israeli public,” Shaviro said, referring to reports that the PA had kept its small number of vaccines for politicians and sporting stars.
The center was due to open next week.
Shaviro said that Palestinian workers who had not been vaccinated would not be allowed into the settlement.
The IDF’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced last week that it would launch a vaccination campaign for workers coming from the PA to Israel.
The COGAT campaign includes the establishment of dedicated complexes at several crossings between Israel and the West Bank and in industrial zones throughout the area.
The workers will receive the Moderna vaccine from Israeli medical teams.
Israel also allocated 5,000 vaccines from its stock to inoculate the PA’s medical staff, but said only 2,000 were taken thus far.