Palestinian Authority funds to issue monthly payments to terrorists and their families should be used to fund vaccines for the Palestinian population, Yesha Council head David Elhayani said.
He urged the State of Israel to withhold an amount equivalent to that monetary sum from the tax fees it collects on behalf of the PA.
That money should then be redirected so that Israel can purchase vaccines for the Palestinians, Elhayani said.
In the past the Palestinian Authority has spent some half-a-billion shekels a year on such payments.
Elhayani issued his call jointly with a Palestinian activist and businessman Mohammad Masad, who is initially from the Jenin area, but who now lives in Haifa, and is dedicated to relations with Israel.
He has a history of interacting with settler leaders and on Monday met with Elhayani in the Jordan Valley to discuss the issue of vaccines for the Palestinians.
“On behalf of both of us I call on the Israeli government to vaccinate the Palestinians. We live together, both in Judea and Samaria and in the State of Israel, and it is time to vaccinate everyone,” Elhayani said.
Masad said: “I came here to make it clear to everyone that the future of our children is in our hands.
“Either we will establish a future for them without bloodshed or we will leave them to the fate we have lived,” Masad said.
“The vaccine, just as it is important to us and will maintain our health, so it will also maintain your health.”
Some Israeli health experts have said that the speed of the virus can only be properly halted when both populations have been vaccinated.
Israel was able to purchase enough vaccines to inoculate its population but the PA has not been as successful and at present, global supplies are low and there are not enough vaccines to meet the demand.
Lack of funding has been one of the sticking points for the PA. Even pledged donations to purchase vaccines have been slow to arrive. Israel has purchased enough vaccines for both populations but used its available supply on its own citizens first.
It’s believed that Israel plans to provide vaccines to the Palestinians when they are available. In the interim it is in the process of vaccinating 120,000 Palestinian workers and has also donated 5,000 doses to the Palestinians. The PA also received at least 90,000 doses from donors, including a global vaccination program affiliated with the United Nations.