COVID-19 Vaccinations Are Proof of Israel’s Medical Apartheid
PALESTINE - ISRAEL, 29 Mar 2021
The coronavirus does not stop at checkpoints. As an occupier, Israel must provide medical supplies to Palestinians and adopt measures to combat the disease there.
23 Mar 2021 – In Israel, more than five million people, or more than half the population, have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and case numbers are dropping.
Just a few kilometres away in Palestine, COVID cases are rising, all of its estimated 200 ventilators are in use, and the Palestinian Authority announced it can no longer put additional COVID patients on ventilators.
Why the disparity? Because Israel has refused to provide vaccines for the more than four million Palestinians living under its military rule.
In short, this is medical apartheid where one group gets the privilege of being vaccinated while the other suffers under the weight of disease, forcing doctors to make decisions about who lives and who dies.
Living under Israeli military rule means virtually all decisions, particularly regarding movement, are controlled by Israel. These rules apply to people, and to goods, too. Israeli permission is needed to send anything into or out of the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. With no airport or a seaport of their own, everything sent to Palestinians must also be brought in through Israel – including vaccines.
To make matters worse, while refusing to provide vaccines to Palestinians, Israel has sent vaccines to Guatemala and Honduras – two countries that moved their embassies to Jerusalem in defiance of international law; countries whose actions further harm Palestinians.
COVID-19 is not the only example of Israel’s medical apartheid. Israel controls so many aspects of Palestinian life, including healthcare. It has even stopped medical supplies, like radiation equipment for cancer treatment, from reaching Palestinian hospitals – leaving patients without care options at home.
Many argue that Israel is under no obligation to provide the COVID vaccine to Palestinians. But they are wrong. International law firmly establishes that an occupier – which Israel is – must provide medical supplies and adopt measures to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics.
And beyond law, what about the moral or ethical obligation to help?
This virus does not discriminate between those who are Christian, those who are Muslim and those who are Jewish. It does not stop at checkpoints. The time to end the medical apartheid is now.
Diana Buttu is a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and political analyst who served as a legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team from 2000 to 2005.
Tags: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Human Needs, Human Rights, Palestine/Israel, Pandemic, Vaccine Apartheid, Vaccines
Join the BDS-BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS campaign to protest the Israeli barbaric siege of Gaza, illegal occupation of the Palestine nation’s territory, the apartheid wall, its inhuman and degrading treatment of the Palestinian people, and the more than 7,000 Palestinian men, women, elderly and children arbitrarily locked up in Israeli prisons.
DON’T BUY PRODUCTS WHOSE BARCODE STARTS WITH 729, which indicates that it is produced in Israel. DO YOUR PART! MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
7 2 9: BOYCOTT FOR JUSTICE!
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
PALESTINE - ISRAEL: