Histadrut rolls out vaccines for Palestinian workers

Following the Israeli government's directive to provide vaccines to approximately 100,000 Palestinian workers employed in the country’s construction industry, Histadrut organised a vaccine pilot rollout on 4 March at Sha'ar Ephraim. 

Histadrut said that Israeli medical teams administered the vaccine Moderna to the Palestinian workers. It said that in the coming weeks, the vaccine rollout will be expanded to include Gilboa, Eyal, Hashmonaim, Rachel, Ela, Tarqumiya, and Meitar. 

The union also explained that employers will be responsible for scheduling the vaccination appointments of their workers and transport to the vaccination sites.

Histadrut Chairperson Arnon Bar-David, together with Yitzhak Moyal, Chair of the Construction and Related Industries Workers Union-Histadrut and the Israel Builders Association, supervised the operation. 

Bar-David said that he asked Histadrut members to raise awareness on the need for workers to be vaccinated and act based on the vaccine protocols that were identified together with Dooby Amitai, Histadrut Chair of the Presidency of the Business Sector.  

Moyal explained that the union has a thorough vaccination process, which includes budgetary funding. “We want the workers to have a sense of belongingness and understand that they and their families are being taken care of. It is important for us that these workers are given equal treatment.”

Wael Abadi, Director of Histadrut’s Information and Service Center, who was present at the pilot vaccine rollout reported that the workers responded positively to the operation. “Hundreds of workers came to be vaccinated. Even as the Palestinian Authority secures vaccines for its population, those that come here to work are assured that they are taken care of. Just as we care about the workers' economic rights, we also care about their health and safety.”