Three countries have approached Israel in recent days with requests to purchase the vaccines that were supposed to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority, should the agreement with the PA is finally revoked, a political source told Haaretz on Sunday (גורם מדיני: ישראל מנהלת מגעים עם שלוש מדינות על החיסונים שיועדו לפלסטינים). According to the source, Israel is in talks with these countries about the transfer of the vaccines, which will expire in July. Meanwhile, the PA health ministry announced on Sunday that they intend to resume negotiations with the Israeli health ministry and Pfizer regarding the delivery of “safe vaccines that comply with standards.”
As we reported earlier, the Palestinian Authority announced on Friday night that it had rejected a shipment from Israel of 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine and that it would cancel the entire deal to receive at least one million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses (Palestinian Authority Rejects Israeli Shipment of COVID-19 Vaccine).
Israel’s health ministry said on Saturday night that the PA health ministry was aware of the expiration dates of the vaccines in question (July 10), and those dates were “known, agreed upon and in accordance with the agreement between the parties.”
Israeli political sources believe the cancellation of the deal by the PA was made because of criticism at home. So they gave up on the opportunity to vaccinate as many of their citizens as they could in order to shame Israel.
Israel’s health ministry added that the shipment that was delivered to the PA was “completely normal,” and that “the vaccines that were delivered to the Palestinians are identical in every way to vaccines currently being given to citizens of the State of Israel.”
PA Health Minister Dr. Mai al-Kila announced on Friday that her office had checked the vaccines and their dates of expiration and determined that they were acceptable. However, a few hours later, Dr. al-Kila announced that ministry staff had found that the vaccines did not meet the required standard. Shortly thereafter, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced that the deal was canceled.
The PA government is yet to explain the contradictory statements issued by its health ministry.