After the government’s recent approval to vaccinate all Palestinians working in Israel, the Histadrut, together with healthcare providers, has opened a vaccination center for Palestinian construction workers last week at a border crossing. Hundreds of workers have already received their first dose, with seven more vaccination centers scheduled to open at border crossings this week.
The centers offer Palestinian workers explanations about the importance of the vaccine, and the vaccine itself, manufactured by Moderna and free of charge. This campaign is a joint project run by the Histadrut and the Ministry of Health, together with the IDF.
The Histadrut has stressed the importance of vaccinating the approximately 100,000 Palestinians working in Israel, who have not yet been vaccinated by the Palestinian Authority. Despite its massive vaccination campaign and large stockpiles, Israel has come under fire for not providing vaccines to Palestinians in the West Bank, particularly workers who cross daily into Israel.
Employers will be responsible for scheduling their workers’ vaccinations, and will offer transport to the vaccination centers. The employers will also be responsible for raising awareness, aimed at increasing vaccination rates among workers.
Wa’hel Abadi of the Histadrut, who is in charge of the project, told Davar that there has been high levels of demand for the vaccine among Palestinian workers.
“We have already vaccinated hundreds of workers, and we expect to reach very high levels of vaccination,” he said. “The effort is incredibly important, especially since the Palestinian Authority has not yet developed the capacity to keep Palestinians working in Israel safe. We promote workers' rights and their health. This is an effort that we are glad to take part in.”
Itzik Moyal, chair of the Construction Workers’ Union, which represents most of the Palestinians working in Israel, said in a statement: “We want the Palestinians working in Israel to feel welcome – rights, safety, working conditions and now with their health.”