WHO Condemns Occupation’s Effect on Health Sector

The caretaker Minister of Health said a new victory was chalked at the World Health Organization’s 64th assembly this week, when the body passed a resolution condemning the effects of Israel’s occupation on Palestinian health care.

Fathi Abu Moghli said the draft secured 65 votes, passing the resolution on Wednesday, calling for Israel to take down road blocks currently causing a shortage of medical supplies and treatment. The resolution also calls on Member States and NGOs to provide assistance to meet urgent health and humanitarian needs in the area.

Speaking with Ma’an by phone, Abu Moghli said he gave a presentation to the assembly outlining the health situation in Palestine, with a focus on the effects of Israel’s siege on Gaza and the network of walls and roadblocks fragmenting the West Bank and making access to health care slow and arduous.

The treatment of Palestinians in Israeli jails was also mentioned, using several cases where men and women were denied medical treatment while in custody.

"The resolution calls for an end to the siege and a deconstruction of checkpoints, it calls for the provision of support for the Palestinian health sector from the international community, and it puts in place the framework for the Director-General of the World Health Organization to send a fact-finding mission to Palestine for a thorough investigation," the official said.

According to Abu Moghli, the WHO set out to "Remind Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the protection of civilians in time of war."

The passing of the resolution comes as the Palestinian leadership prepare to go to the United Nations in September and seek formal recognition as a state within the pre-1967 borders.

The PLO and Palestinian Authority have pushed an aggressive diplomatic campaign seeking global support for their project. Part of the efforts have included developing Palestine’s international relations with various states and international organizations and "broadening the scope of cooperation with them on all levels, particularly in the fields of politics, culture and economy,’ according to the 2009 "Plan of the 13th Government."

(Maan News)

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