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PA to begin vaccinating families of security prisoners in Israeli jails

Palestinians in the West Bank receive a shot of the coronavirus vaccine on Sunday March 21, 2021 (WAFA)
Palestinians in the West Bank receive a shot of the coronavirus vaccine on Sunday March 21, 2021 (WAFA)

The Palestinian Authority health ministry will begin administering coronavirus vaccines to the families of security prisoners in Israeli jails tomorrow, PA health officials say.

PA health minister Mai al-Kaila says in a statement released by the official WAFA news agency that the vaccination program is intended to allow them to visit their relatives in Israeli jails. The vaccination of prisoners’ families is set to begin in Ramallah and al-Bireh governorate tomorrow, but will soon be extended to other West Bank governorates.

Besides the families of security prisoners, only the elderly and those with underlying conditions such as cancer are technically eligible for the vaccine. Ramallah has received international criticism for the benefits it hands out to the families of those imprisoned by Israel for terrorism.

Accusations of nepotism and corruption have also dogged the vaccine rollout since the start. The PA has acknowledged that at least some vaccines went to government officials and the Palestinian national soccer team rather than frontline health care workers.

According to the PA, around 55,871 West Bank Palestinians have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine as of Wednesday.

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