Israel must provide COVID vaccines to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza

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Palestinian doctors receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at the Ministry of Health, in Gaza City on February 22, 2021. (photo: ASHRAF AMRA / APA IMAGES)
The JVP Health Advisory Council calls on Israel to assume its responsibility to distribute vaccines to Palestinians in the occupied territory: “As health workers, it would be a violation of our professional ethics to stand by in silence as this form of discrimination occurs.”

By Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council  | Mondoweiss | Feb 22, 2021

As health workers and American taxpayers, we are extremely distressed that our nation fails to hold Israel to any level of accountability for a health system that systemically discriminates against Palestinians.
— Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council

The Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council (JVP HAC) issues this statement of urgent concern for the health of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza during the COVID-19 pandemic. Israel holds a legal and moral obligation to assure full and equitable COVID vaccine distribution to the Palestinian health authorities in the West Bank and Gaza to enable vaccine administration to begin immediately.

As health workers we understand that there must be equitable vaccine distribution to all nations and people of the world in order to stop this lethal pandemic, which recognizes no borders. However, as Israel has rolled out a robust vaccination campaign for citizens of Israel, so far they have only made about 5000 doses of vaccine available in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. There is no justification for politics to create obstacles to vaccine availability.

Israel’s refusal to assume responsibility to provide COVID vaccine to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) of the West Bank and Gaza shows blatant disregard for the obligations they hold, as an occupying power, as spelled out in Article 56 of the 4th Geneva Convention…

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