UN : Israel Must be Responsible for Health of Palestinians

Jerusalem, MINA – A senior UN official said Israel is legally responsible for providing health service, ensuring the safety of Palestinians in the occupied territories during fight against coronavirus.

“The legal duty, anchored in Article 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, requires that Israel, the occupying power, must ensure that all necessary preventive means are available to it are utilised ‘to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics,'” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Man in the Palestinian Territory, Michael Lynk.

“At the heart of the effort to contain and roll back this pandemic by Israel, Palestinian Authority and Hamas must apply an approach centered on human rights,” he add  as quoted from MEMO.

He said the right dignity requiers that all people under their authority should enjoy equality access to health services and equality treatment

According to statement issued by Lynk on Thursday, he also expressed his concerns that the initial publication to increase awareness about the spread of COVID-19 Issued by Israel Ministry of Health were almost exclusively in Hebrew.

This mean that Palestinians, whether in Israel or in occupied territories, do not benefits from this important publications.

“Eny restrictions on human right, such as access to health services or freedom of movement must be strictly justified, proportionate and should only be curtailed for lenght of time not longer than necessary and in a non discriminatory manner,” Lynk stressed.

The Special Rapporteur has also previously noted that Israel is in “profound breach” of its international obligations with regards to the right to healthcare for Palestinians living under occupation.

Regarding his concern for Gaza, he stated: “I am particularly worried about the potential impact of COVID-19 on Gaza. It’s health care system collapsing even before the pandemic. Its stocks of essential drugs are chronically low. ”

“It’s natural source of drinkingable water is largely contaminated. The electrical system provides sporadic power. Deep poverty appalling socio-economic conditions is prevalent throughout the Gaza Strip,” Lynk said . (T/R7/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)