Israel have already administered the vaccine to a higher percentage of its population than other countries. While they have offered the vaccine to Palestinians with resident status in East Jerusalem, they have not done the same to those in the occupied West Bank or Gaza and it is unlikely that those living there will have any access to the vaccine in the foreseeable future. In fact, the Israeli Public Security Ministry have instructed the Israeli Prison Service not to vaccinate Palestinian security prisoners. UN Special Rapporteurs have stated that it is very possible that the Covid vaccines ordered by the Palestinian Authority may not arrive to the West Bank and Gaza for many weeks to come. The result of this, 4.5 million Palestinians remain at risk of the virus all while the entire Israeli population are vaccinated.
As part of the Fourth Geneva Convention Israel are obliged to ensure that health services in the occupied territories are maintained. Indeed, the right to health is a basic human right. The fact that Palestinians continue to be denied the most basic rights is not only morally corrupt, discriminatory but unlawful. The Workers’ Party call on all countries to work with the UN and WHO to ensure the fair distribution of the vaccine worldwide and ensure that those in the occupied Palestinian territories are given the same protection against the virus as their neighbours in Israel.