Israel will begin vaccinating its East Jerusalem residents beyond a security barrier

Israel on Tuesday began vaccinating Palestinians in East Jerusalem who hold Israeli residence cards but who live past the security barrier that runs through the eastern half of the city.

The vaccines were made by Magen David Adom paramedics at the main Qalandiya crossroads.

Tens of thousands are living past the barrier that runs through the capital, which some health experts have suggested would make it more challenging for them to get vaccinated.

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The MDA apparently chose to place the vaccine station next to the level crossing to increase access to the vaccine for those living beyond the barrier.

MDA drug will vaccinate Palestinian worker in East Jerusalem on 10 February 2021 (Screencapture / Twitter)

The vaccination campaign was coordinated by the Ministry of Health and the IDF Main Command. It operates Tuesdays from 10am to 8pm

East Jerusalem is claimed by Israel, and was deposed as a result of the Six Day War in 1967, and was renamed Israel in the Basic Law of 1980: Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel. The Israeli assertions are not recognized by the international community. Israel believes the entire city is its capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern region as the future capital of their state.

Israel has also begun vaccinating the 122,000 Palestinians on the West Bank working in Israel. Some Palestinians working in the health care sector have already been vaccinated, but these are in the minority; Most workers are employed in construction or agriculture.

Health experts have identified it as a potential source of infection, as many cross the Green Line every day.

Palestinian workers flock to Qalandiya checkpoint in northern Jerusalem on April 16, 2019. (Adam Rasgon / Times of Israel)

Israel has offered vaccines to its citizens, citizens and Arabs alike, as well as Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem. There has been a strong debate for several weeks over whether Israel is ultimately responsible for providing vaccines to the West Bank and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

In the last few days Israel has shifted several thousand doses to Ramallah for the Palestinian Authority to vaccinate medical workers. But critics have failed the Jewish state for failing to vaccinate the estimated five million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and on the West Bank.

Russian COVID vaccines delivered from Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to Gaza Strip on February 17, 2021 (with permission)

Critics of Israeli vaccination policy point to the Fourth Geneva Convention, which says ownership power is needed to give vaccines to residents of the areas under its control.

Israel rejects the claim that he lives on the West Bank, saying the areas he has ruled since 1967 are “under controversy,” rather than occupied. He is also aware that he has pulled out of Gaza, although he maintains a barrier over the land, which he says is essential for security; the Hamas terrorist group, which governs, Gaza, is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state. Thus, Jerusalem never assumed the applicability of that international law to the territories.

The government cites the 1995 Oslo Accords, which states that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, while both sides work together to combat pandemics.

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