East Jerusalem Communities Extremely Vulnerable Due to Israel’s Healthcare Neglect

A paper expose how systematic neglect and de-development of Palestinian healthcare have left Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem extremely vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: via MEMO)

A joint paper by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), Al-Haq, and the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre (JLAC) exposed how systematic neglect and de-development of Palestinian healthcare have left Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem extremely vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The paper highlighted how Israel’s discriminatory response to COVID-19 in East Jerusalem, coupled with long-standing failures to fulfill fundamental human rights, has compounded Palestinians’ susceptibility to the pandemic.

The paper explored the situation in East Jerusalem before the outbreak of COVID-19, including the impact of prolonged occupation, illegal annexation, and structural discrimination on Palestinians in the city.

It also highlighted a lack of COVID-19 testing facilities in East Jerusalem, inaccurate and unreliable data to track the spread of the disease, and the harassment, arrests, and persecution of Palestinian health activists working to prevent the further spread of the disease.

The paper warned that the capacity of Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem, the main providers of care for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, to respond to a widespread outbreak of the disease has been undermined by decades of occupation and financial constraints, leaving them at near breaking point.

According to the latest data provided by the Palestinian Health Ministry, the confirmed cases in the Occupied Territories (West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza) reached 7,734.

Out of the 7,734 cases, 6,692 are recorded in the West Bank, 72 in the Gaza Strip, and 970 in East Jerusalem.

Recoveries have totaled 1,258, including 174 in East Jerusalem, leaving a total of 6,429 active cases.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

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