Amnesty: Israel Must Provide Palestinians with COVID Vaccine

Palestinian medics in Gaza city convert an empty mosque into a COVID-19 testing center.(Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

Amnesty International on Tuesday called on Israel to start providing coronavirus vaccine doses to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

In the occupied West Bank, the vaccination drive includes only those living in Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law, and not the Palestinian population.

The international organization called on Israel to “stop ignoring its international obligations as an occupying power and immediately act to ensure that Covid-19 vaccines are equally and fairly provided to Palestinians living under its occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”

Saleh Higazi, deputy regional director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said: “The Israeli government must uphold its obligations as the occupying power, under international humanitarian law and human rights law, to provide the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health to the population of the OPT without discrimination.”

“The views of marginalized groups must be at the forefront of any decision-making to ensure that national vaccine policies aren’t exclusionary or discriminatory. All states must confront existing inequalities to ensure everyone has access to vaccines.”

Palestinian Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila said Palestine today recorded 1,088 new coronavirus cases and 14 deaths.

The situation is even direr in the besieged Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian news agency WAFA, among the new 1,088 cases, 478 cases were recorded in the occupied West Bank and 610 others in Gaza.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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