Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) has launched a new briefing paper in partnership with Al-Haq and the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre (JLAC), exposing how systematic neglect and de-development of Palestinian healthcare has left Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem extremely vulnerable to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Read the briefing

The briefing outlines Israel’s chronic failure to meet its duties toward the occupied population of East Jerusalem under international humanitarian law. It explores how Israel has, through decades of de jure annexation of East Jerusalem, entrenched its structural discrimination, institutionalised neglect and de-development of Palestinian communities and institutions, including healthcare, leaving them extremely vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It describes how this systematic neglect and de-development of Palestinian communities and healthcare have resulted in a lack of testing facilities; inaccurate and unreliable data on COVID-19 transmission; harassment, arrests and persecution of Palestinian health volunteers; and the ill-preparedness of Palestinian hospitals to meet the needs of the population.

The paper emphasises that “a return to pre-COVID-19 normality in Jerusalem would only signify the entrenchment of existing abuses and the aggravation of an unjust reality for Palestinians.” It outlines seven key recommendations for the international community to take to protect the fundamental rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

Read the briefing in English Read the briefing in Arabic

MAP has also produced a brief two-page summary for UK parliamentarians, placing the briefing paper in the context of UK policy. The summary also makes seven recommendations for how the UK can help address the illegal and discriminatory situation facing Palestinians in East Jerusalem and promote their right to health: