Palestinians cancel vaccines deal with Israel over expiry dates

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By Daniel Bellamy  with AP
Palestinians cancel vaccines deal with Israel over expiry dates
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The Palestinian Authority has cancelled a deal with Israel to receive about one million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, saying the doses are about to expire.

When Israel first announced the agreement it said they would expire soon, but did not say when.

Under the deal, Israel said that the Palestinian Authority would have reimbursed them with a similar number of vaccines once they had received them from a pharmaceutical company in September or October.

"The prime minister confirmed that the government refuses to receive vaccines that are about to expire," Palestinian spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said at a news conference on Friday.

Tensions remain high between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

On Friday after prayers, young Palestinian men again protested at the revered Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem.

They briefly clashed with Israeli police and three demonstrators were injured.

The site is the third holiest in Islam and the holiest for Jews who call it the Temple Mount because it was the location of the biblical temples.

Around 30% of eligible Palestinians have received their first vaccine doses, and that figure compares with about 55% of eligible Israelis having received both doses.