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Middle East

Vaccination rates highlight stark differences between Israelis and Palestinians -- amid row over responsibility

January 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 21.3%. 1 min read.

Two young men work side-by-side in a butcher's shop. They live in the same teeming and densely packed town. One is fortunate -- he's eligible to get an Israeli Covid-19 vaccination. The other isn't.

According to the experts' report, published by the UN's Office High Commissioner for Human Rights, Israel should extend its vaccination campaign to all Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

The experts also said: "4. 5 million Palestinians will remain unprotected and exposed to Covid-19, while Israeli citizens living near and among them -- including the Israeli settler population -- will be vaccinated.

But as Israel's vaccination campaign climbs past 20% of the Israeli population (including east Jerusalem residents), this is not a characterization that Israeli health minister Yuli Edelstein accepts.

"At this stage we are not supplying vaccines, but we do understand that it is in Israel's interest to make sure we don't get into a situation where we are vaccinated and then out of this trouble, and on the Palestinian side there is another surge in numbers," added Edelstein.

The rate at which people with confirmed Covid-19 in the Palestinian territories and east Jerusalem are dying (1. 1%) is higher than Israel (0. 7%), but substantially lower than the rates in the United States (1. 7%) and the United Kingdom (2. 6%), according to the World Health Organization.

These vaccines will cover 70% of the Palestinian population and the World Health Organization will provide the Ministry with 20%," the PA said in a January 9 statement.

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