Israel: use of Covid vaccines in prisoner swap deal sparks row

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Israel’s agreement to secretly provide coronavirus vaccines for the Syrian regime to sweeten a prisoner swap deal has raised questions about whether limited global vaccine supplies could see doses become a new form of diplomatic currency.

The clandestine deal made last week, and confirmed by an Israeli source who asked for anonymity, reportedly involved Israel paying Russia $1.2m (£850,000) to send Sputnik V jabs to Syria.

While it is not clear how many doses were bought, the deal is highly contentious, not least due to questions about whether Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Damascus will distribute them equally.

It has also spotlighted Israel’s unwillingness to provide the millions of Palestinians who live under its control with significant doses, especially if it is quie

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