Palestine cancels deal with Israel of supplying nearly 1 million COVID vaccines

Gaza: The Palestinian government on Friday announced cancellation of a deal with Israel relating to the supply of around one million doses of Pfizer (COVID-19) vaccine.

The cancellation came after the government found the doses fall short of meeting the technical criteria.

”After the technical teams of the Ministry of Health examined the first batch of the Pfizer vaccines that were received this evening from Israel, estimated at 90,000 doses, it was found that they do not conform to the specifications contained in the agreement, and accordingly, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh instructed the Minister of Health to cancel the agreement,” WAFA news reported quoting government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem.

During a joint press conference with Health Minister Mai Alkaila, the official added that the first batch of the cancelled deal were returned to Israel.

Earlier on the day, Health Minister Mai Alkaila said that Palestine had received an offer from Pfizer to urgently obtain about one million Pfizer COVID-19 doses from Israel, provided that the manufacturer, at the end of this year, will hand over the same amount to the Israeli side that was initially supposed to be allocated to Palestine prior to the aforementioned Pfizer offer.

The ceasefire deal, between Israel and Palestine that was reached on May 21, was violated on June 16.

Israel and Hamas concluded 11 days of fighting during which hundreds of rockets were launched from both Israel and Palestine sides.

According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, 253 Palestinians were killed during the fighting, including 66 children, while 13 Israelis, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier, were killed.