The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, a territory occupied since 1967 and home to 2.8 million Palestinians, did not publicly ask Israel for help in supplying vaccines.

Nor did the Hamas Islamic Resistance Movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, where 2 million Palestinians live, officially resort to the Hebrew state with which it fought three wars since 2008, the AFP news agency reported.

However, AI urged Israel to “stop ignoring its international obligations as an occupying power and to act immediately to ensure that coronavirus vaccines are equitably provided to Palestinians living under occupation, in the West Bank, and under the Israeli blockade. more than a decade ago in the Gaza Strip.”

Israel is by far the country with the highest vaccination rate in the world and promised to continue this accelerated advance, but in the Palestinian territories it has occupied for more than 50 years, no doses have yet arrived.

The Palestinian Health Ministry declared on Monday that it expects the first delivery of vaccines for the West Bank and Gaza in February thanks to the Covax access device, created by the World Health Organization (WHO) to help the poorest countries.

The Palestinian Authority also announced that it is in contact with other vaccine suppliers, but the Health Ministry warned that the West Bank does not have the infrastructure to store the doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, which must be kept at very low temperatures.

Israel began on December 19 to vaccinate its population at a dizzying rate, as well as Israeli settlers in the West Bank, starting with health workers and the elderly.

To date, more than a million people have received the first dose.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that he expects 2.25 million Israelis to have been vaccinated (two doses are needed) in a month, or a quarter of the population.

Israel recorded more than 451,000 cases of Covid-19, of which more than 3,400 were fatal.

In the West Bank 100,000 cases were counted, including 1,100 deaths, and in Gaza, more than 43,000 infected and 404 deaths.

© The Eastern Herald