Israel sending 'surplus' vaccines to Palestinians, Hondurans, Czechs

Israel has come under international criticism for not vaccinating Palestinians outside East Jerusalem

A paramedic with Israel's Magen David Adom medical services administers the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to a Palestinian man on February 23, 2021 at Qalandia checkpoint on the crossing between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem. / AFP / AHMAD GHARABLI
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Israel said it was giving small amounts of surplus Covid-19 vaccines to Palestinian-run territories and several countries.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not name which countries in a statement announcing the move.
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 also expecting 5,000 doses from Israel but has yet to receive any.

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 per cent of its nine million population in one of the world's swiftest campaigns.
This month the Palestinians received an initial shipment of Moderna doses from Israel, helping kick off a limited vaccination programme in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza.

While Israel has been vaccinating Palestinians in East Jerusalem, it had come under international 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 US in signalling its intention to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a diplomatic gain for Israel.
The Czech Republic has received several thousand Moderna doses from Israel, Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek told reporters on Tuesday.
The donation comes after the EU country's president and premier sent letters to Israel requesting vaccine help.
Some of Netanyahu's competitors in a March 23 election criticised the donations, saying the premier did not consult with the public or even his own cabinet before making them.
Netanyahu "thinks he is running a kingdom and not a state. Such a move requires discussion and approval," Benny Gantz, Netanyahu's centrist coalition partner and now election competitor, wrote on Twitter.
In an interview with Israel's Army Radio, Finance Minister Israel Katz, a member of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, said he was unaware of the donations.