Israel sharing some #COVID19 vaccines with Palestinians, Honduras, Czech Republic
JERUSALEM - Israel said on Tuesday it was giving small amounts of surplus COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinian-run territories as well as to several countries.
But the government of Guatemala - which opened its Israel embassy in Jerusalem last year - said it was expecting to receive 5,000 doses from Israel on Thursday.
The government of Honduras - which said last year it intended to move its Israel embassy to Jerusalem - said it was expecting 5,000 doses from Israel. The country has yet to receive any doses.
The Czech Republic said it had received a small Israeli shipment. The country in December said it would add a diplomatic presence to its Jerusalem office, a move short of opening a full embassy in the city.
Israel has been importing Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Inc vaccines. It has administered at least one Pfizer dose to almost 50% of its 9 million population in one of the worlds swiftest campaigns.
This month the Palestinians received an initial shipment of Moderna doses from Israel, helping kick off a limited vaccination program in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza.
While Israel has been vaccinating Palestinians in East Jerusalem, it had come under foreign criticism for not extending its campaign to the other Palestinian areas.
The vaccines due for Honduras will be administered to health workers at risk of exposure, and a Honduran Air Force plane is in Israel to transport them, government spokesman Carlos Madero said.
The Central American country last year followed the United States in signaling its intention to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a diplomatic gain for Israel.
Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its capital, although that is not recognized by most countries. Palestinians seek East Jerusalem, which Israel captured along with the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 Middle East War, as the capital of a future independent state.