On Friday, the Palestinian Authority canceled a contract with Israel to swap coronavirus vaccination doses, citing worries over the quality of the shots.
Israel had declared earlier in the day that it would provide up to 1.4 million nearly-expired doses of Pfizer's vaccine to the Palestinian territories.
According to a joint statement from Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office and the country's defense and health ministries, the PA would furnish Israel with the same number of doses in September or October after receiving a fresh cargo. (On Sunday, Bennett took over as Prime Minister, succeeding long-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.)
However, nearly as soon as the first 90,000 doses arrived from Israel, the PA announced that they would be returned.
"It became clear that the 90,000 doses received do not conform to the specifications contained in the agreement after the technical teams in the ministry of health examined the first batch of Pfizer vaccines that were received this evening from Israel," Ibrahim Melhem, a PA spokesperson, said at a Friday press conference.
According to Reuters, PA Health Minister Mai Alkaila stated that the pills were scheduled to expire in July or August, but the expiration date turned out to be in June.
"We rejected them because we didn't have enough time to use them," Alkaila explained.
Bennett's office did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters right away.