WHO blasts Israel for ‘health rights violations’ of Palestinians, Golan residents

The language in the resolution implies that Israel withholds vaccines from the Palestinians.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The World Health Organization (WHO) overwhelmingly passed a resolution on Wednesday criticizing Israel for alleged “health rights violations” of Palestinians and non-citizen residents of the Golan Heights.

After hearing speeches from the Iranian, Syrian, Venezuelan, Turkish, Lebanese, and Cuban delegations that singled out Israel, the resolution was adopted in a 82-14 vote, with 40 abstentions.

Implying that Israel withholds vaccines from the Palestinians, the resolution called for WHO “to ensure non-discriminatory, affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to the protected occupied population in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem and in the occupied Syrian Golan in compliance with the International Law.”

Originally introduced by the Palestinian delegation, the resolution was co-sponsored by nations including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the Abraham Accords signees Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Suggesting that recent clashes with Gaza had traumatized the Palestinians, the resolution also said WHO must “assess the extent and nature of psychiatric morbidity and other forms of mental health problems resulting from protracted aerial and other forms of bombing among the population, particularly children and adolescents, of the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

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The resolution did not express concern for the mental health of residents of Israel’s south, who were subject to days of nearly nonstop rocket bombardment from Gaza-based terror groups.

The reference to bombing in eastern Jerusalem is inaccurate, as sirens sounded in Jerusalem just once during the conflict, caused by rockets launched by Hamas.

“Out of 34 items on the current world health assembly’s Agenda, only one, Item 25 targeting Israel, focused on a specific country,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of watchdog group UN Watch, which focuses on bias against Israel within international organizations.

“There was no agenda item or resolution on any other country, conflict, civil war or political impasse—not on Syria, where hospitals and other medical infrastructure are repeatedly and deliberately bombed by Syrian and Russian forces; not on war-torn Yemen, where 18 million are in dire need of health assistance; and not on Venezuela, where the health system is in a state of collapse and 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.”

He slammed the “cynical politicization of the world’s top health agency at the expense of focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic and other vital global health priorities and emergencies.”

“Today’s assault on Israel at the WHO promoted the lie that Israel is harming Palestinian health rights,” Neuer added. “The opposite is true.

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“Despite the fact that the Palestinians have their own health system, and under the Oslo II Peace Accord, it is the Palestinian Authority which is responsible for vaccinating their population, Israel has vaccinated over 100,000 Palestinian workers since March as well as donating thousands of vaccine doses for Palestinian medical workers.”