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Israel to start vaccinating prisoners this week, including Palestinians

The Israel Prison Service says it will begin vaccinating all incarcerated people against COVID-19 this week, after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit opposed a push by Public Security Minister Amir Ohana to delay the process.

Israel has given at least one vaccine dose to more than two million of its citizens in the world’s fastest rate per capita.

Israeli and international rights groups, including Amnesty International, as well as the Palestine Liberation Organization, have issued public calls for Israel to vaccinate the estimated 4,400 Palestinian security prisoners held in its jails.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced last week that vaccine doses would be distributed to prisons over the coming days.

The prison service issues a statement saying, “Following the vaccination of staff… the vaccination of detainees will begin in prisons in accordance with medical and operational protocols established by the Prison Service.”

A prison service spokesperson tells AFP the directive applies to “all prisoners, without distinction.”

— with AFP

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