On Sunday, 26 February 2023, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) sent a submission to Professor Alena Douhan, the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, in response to her call for submissions to inform her thematic report for the 54th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (September 2023).
The submission highlights the violations of the right to health committed by Israel, as an occupying power that bears the responsibility of ensuring and respecting the rights of Palestinians under its control. The submission also explains the negative impact of the Israeli restrictions on the Gaza Strip residents’ right to the highest attainable standard of health, including their access to healthcare at the hospitals in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,Israel, and abroad.
The submission provides an overview of the serious heath situation in the Gaza Strip and the suffering of patients, particularly those with chronic and serious diseases, in light of the perpetual and chronic shortage of drugs and medical supplies, and lack of medical equipment and specialized medical personnel. Moreover, the submission reviews the Israeli occupation authorities’ obstruction of the entry of advanced medical devices to treat patients in the Gaza Strip, including the radiotherapy machine that is used to treat cancer patients.
The submission also tackles the occupation authorities’ restrictions on the travel of thousands of patients referred for treatment abroad, as they have serious diseases whose treatment is not available at the Gaza Strip hospitals.
PCHR recommended in the submission that the Special Rapporteur calls upon Israel to:
- Fulfill its legal obligations as an occupying power towards the Gaza Strip, as the primary responsibility for providing medical supplies to the Gaza Strip population lies with the Israeli occupation in accordance with Articles (55) and (56) of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and
- End the illegal and inhuman closure imposed since 2007 and the collective punishment policy imposed on the Gaza Strip population, including closure of the crossings to patients and humanitarian cases, to allow the travel of patients whose treatment is not available in the Gaza Strip hospitals.
For the Submission click here