The Israel Prison Service said Sunday it will begin vaccinating all incarcerated people against Covid-19, including Palestinians, following calls from right groups, Palestinian officials and Israel’s attorney general.
Israel has given at least one vaccine dose to more than two million of its citizens, a pace widely described as the world’s fastest per capita.
But the Jewish state faced harsh criticism when Public Security Minister Amir Ohana said Palestinian prisoners would be the last to get inoculated.
Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit wrote to Ohana condemning the comment as “tainted with illegality”, Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper reported.
Israeli and global rights groups, including Amnesty International, as well as the Palestine Liberation Organization have also issued public calls for Israel to vaccinate the estimated 4,400 Palestinians held in its jails.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, about 250 Palestinians in Israeli prisons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.