Israel approves plan to vaccinate West Bank laborers

Coronavirus

The nation has launched one of the world’s most successful vaccination programs, inoculating over half of its population in just two months

Israel vaccinating West Bank laborers

FILE – In this June 30, 2020 file photo, Palestinian laborers line up to cross a checkpoint at the entrance to the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem. On Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, Israel announced plans to vaccinate tens of thousands of Palestinians who work inside Israel and its West Bank settlements, at a time of vast disparities in access to vaccines between the Israeli and Palestinian populations. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

(AP) – Israel has announced plans to vaccinate tens of thousands of Palestinians who work inside Israel and its West Bank settlements.

Israel has launched one of the world’s most successful vaccination programs, inoculating over half of its population in just two months.

But it has come under international criticism for not sharing its vaccine stockpile with the Palestinians, even as it plans to share surplus vaccines with far-flung allies in Africa and Latin America.

Israeli officials said Sunday the government approved the program to “maintain public health and the function of the economy.”

The program is expected to begin in the coming days. Over 100,000 West Bank Palestinians work in Israel and its settlements.

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