Two UN experts: The occupation’s prevention of the "Corona" vaccine for the Palestinians represents the worst humanitarian crisis in a century

Today, Thursday, two United Nations human rights experts called on "Israel" to ensure equal access to "Corona" vaccines for Palestinians, with infections and deaths due to disease steadily increasing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in recent weeks.

 We stated that from an ethical and legal standpoint, "this disparity in access to needed health care in the midst of the worst global humanitarian crisis in a century is unacceptable."

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, Michael Link, and the Special Rapporteur on the right of every human being to the enjoyment of the highest possible level of physical and mental health, Tlalang Mofocking, indicated that "Israel" has presented, at this stage Early global vaccination, vaccinations to a higher percentage of its own citizens than any other.

However, it "did not guarantee that Palestinians under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip would, in the near future, receive the available vaccines."

4.5 million Palestinians will remain without a vaccine

According to the World Health Organization, the total number of "Corona" virus infections in Palestine since the start of the outbreak has reached 160,000, while more than one thousand and 700 deaths have been recorded.

The two experts said that the available information indicates that the Corona vaccines, which the Palestinian Authority requested separately, may not be delivered en masse to the West Bank and Gaza Strip for several weeks.

And they added, "This means that more than 4.5 million Palestinians will remain unprotected and exposed to" Corona ", while Israeli citizens who live near and between them - and the Israeli settler population - receive the vaccine.

What does the Fourth Geneva Convention say?

According to the two experts, Israel, as the occupying Power, is required under the Fourth Geneva Convention to maintain "to the maximum extent possible of the available means" the health services in the occupied territory.

Article 56 calls on "Israel" to adopt and implement "the necessary preventive measures to combat the spread of infectious diseases and epidemics" in cooperation with the national and local authorities.

The experts added: that if the protected population is not provided with adequate supplies, the occupying power is required under the agreement to facilitate relief programs "by all means available to it." Even if relief shipments, including “medical supplies,” are provided by others, Article 60 states that these packages “in no way exempt the occupying power from any of its responsibilities” in relation to health care for the protected population.

The two experts said, "The right to health is a fundamental human right issue. International human rights law, which is fully applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, stipulates that everyone should enjoy the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health."

The two experts explained that some Israeli commentators justified the preferential treatment on the basis that the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement of 1995, which is an integral part of the Oslo Agreement, stipulates that the Palestinian Authority will assume responsibility for health care in the occupied territories, including vaccinations. However, the two experts emphasized the necessity of interpreting and implementing the Oslo Agreement in accordance with international law, and protection measures cannot be derogated from in their wider scope.

They indicated that the denial of equal access to health care, such as denial on racial or ethnic grounds, is discriminatory and unlawful.

Gaza and Israeli prisons

Regarding Gaza, the two experts expressed particular concern about the health situation in the Strip, which has been under siege for 13 years, serious shortages of water and electricity, and widespread poverty and unemployment.

 Link and Movocking called, "the Palestinian Authority and the de-facto administration in Gaza to cooperate with" Israel "in implementing a comprehensive vaccination program for Palestinians in the occupied territories.

The two experts also expressed their concern that the Israeli Prisons Administration had received instructions from the Israeli Ministry of Public Security not to vaccinate Palestinian security prisoners, despite the fact that the Israeli health authorities had previously given instructions to give all prisoners held in "Israel" priority vaccination, given the high risk of infection among Prisoners.

The two experts emphasized that the final responsibility for health services still rests with the occupation authority "until the occupation ends completely and completely."


التعليقات والاراء

اضافة تعليق