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Vaccination drive for Palestinian workers delayed amid reported budget dispute

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The coronavirus vaccination drive for some 120,000 Palestinians working in Israel and the settlements has been put on hold, the military liaison to the Palestinians announced Friday.

The initiative was supposed to officially begin on Sunday after a successful pilot program on Thursday saw 700 Palestinians vaccinated at the Sha’ar Efraim checkpoint between the West Bank and Israel, according to the Health Ministry.

However, on Friday, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said the plan was being put on hold “due to administrative delays, which are supposed to be solved in the near future.”

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But the Haaretz daily reported that the freeze was due to a budgetary dispute. Organizers of the initiative had been ready to move forward on Sunday, understanding that they would receive the necessary funds from an external budget designated for pandemic-related issues, which was slated to be approved by the cabinet in the coming days.

But Finance Minister Israel Katz decided unilaterally on Friday that the funds would have to come from a different source, Haaretz said, saying organizers of the vaccination drive were not given a reason.

Finance Ministry officials told The Times of Israel that a decision would be taken next week on the source of the budgeting for the project. Finance Minister Israel Katz at Tel Aviv’s........

© The Times of Israel

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