MAP urges UN Human Rights Council to ensure accountability and Palestinians' rights to healthcare

 

At today's special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the grave human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, Medical Aid for Palestinians' (MAP) Gaza Director urges the Council to ensure accountability and the protection of Palestinians and their right to healthcare.

Mr President,

My name is Fikr Shalltoot, and I am the Director of Programs for Medical Aid for Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel’s illegal 14-year closure, repeated military assaults, and the shooting of thousands of protesters and medical workers in the ‘Great March of Return’ protests in 2018/19, have de-developed Gaza’s healthcare system and caused a chronic lack of essential medicines, equipment, medical specialists and other essential resources.

With Israel’s discriminatory vaccination policy, the COVID-19 pandemic had pushed Gaza’s health system close to collapse even before the recent hostilities.

Israel’s latest bombing damaged 30 health facilities in Gaza, including Gaza’s only COVID-19 testing laboratory, and killed a psychologist and two doctors, including al Shifa Hospital’s COVID lead.

These incidents reflect the clear pattern of attacks on Palestinian healthcare personnel and facilities by Israel over many years established in previous investigation mechanisms of this Council.

The international community’s failure to end impunity for these violations has once again put Palestinian healthcare in harm’s way.  

We therefore urge members of the Council to support the resolution establishing this new Commission of Inquiry, and finally ensure accountability to ensure the protection of Palestinians and their basic rights to healthcare from future violations.

 

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