COVID vaccine: Israel sets up station for Palestinians in east Jerusalem

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion visited Kfar Aqb, located near the Qalandiya Crossing, to hear the needs of the residents of the neighborhood & take a closer look at the many problems they face.

Jerusalem's Mayor visiting a village in east Jerusalem (photo credit: JERUSALEM MUNICIPALITY)
Jerusalem's Mayor visiting a village in east Jerusalem
(photo credit: JERUSALEM MUNICIPALITY)
As part of Israel's efforts to combat the coronavirus crisis through rapid, mass-vaccination, Magen David Adom's EMTs and paramedics will operate a COVID-19 vaccination drive at the Qalandiya Crossing in east Jerusalem on Tuesday.
The compound will be set up in cooperation with the Health Ministry, the Home Front Command and the Jerusalem Municipality, and is intended to inoculate thousands of residents from the neighboring Palestinian villages who work in Israel, as well as "blue ID card holders" - Israeli citizens who live in settlements across the fence. 
The complex will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and people do not require a previous appointment for vaccination.
On Tuesday morning, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion visited Kfar Aqab, located near the Qalandiya Crossing, in order to hear the needs of the residents of the neighborhood and take a closer look at the many problems they face.
During his visit, Lion said that the Jerusalem Municipality will help with building the first sports field in the village and will also promote the construction of an education complex in the neighborhood. He added that the municipality will also help the village with accessing advanced internet infrastructure as it currently encounters many problems.
"The residents of Kfar Aqab are residents of Jerusalem, and we must take care of life here as we take care of life in the rest of the city," Lion said. 
"I am happy to come here and see the reality with my own eyes. In the near future, the municipality will increase its activity and take confidence-building steps out of an understanding of the reality on the ground," the mayor added.

The Palestinian Authority's Health Ministry announced on Friday that it had struck a deal with its Israeli counterpart to vaccinate 100,000 Palestinians who work in Israel.

The agreement was announced after senior Health Ministry officials visited Ramallah on Friday and met with their Palestinian counterparts to evaluate the situation there regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such a visit is rare, and the Israeli Health Ministry has not confirmed the agreement.
Israel has come under fire for not more rapidly vaccinating Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian Authority purchased vaccines from Russia and some have been delivered. In addition, Israel committed to supplying 5,000 Moderna vaccines to inoculate Palestinian healthcare workers.
In the last two weeks, Israel allowed donated supplies of vaccines to enter the Gaza Strip as well. The vaccination campaign in the coastal enclave kicked off on Monday. 
However, after the World Bank detailed the Palestinian's dire financial gaps on Sunday, Israel will likely need to negotiate further transfers of COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinians, if they don't want a health disaster to develop next door, the bank warned.
"In order to ensure there is an effective vaccination campaign, Palestinian and Israeli authorities should coordinate in the financing, purchase and distribution of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines," the World Bank said.
 
Sarah Chemla contributed to this report.