On the 72nd Anniversary of Al Nakba Day ARDD’s Global Network of Experts on the Question Launches a Paper Denouncing the Continuing Israeli Violations against Palestinians amid COVID-19 Crisis
Amman-15 May 2020, The Global Network of Experts on the Question of Palestine at The Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) sent a message of solidarity on the 72nd anniversary of Al Nakba Day in the form of a position paper denouncing Israeli violations amid the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and showcasing their impact on the conditions of Palestinians under the Israeli occupation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Since the first reported case of COVID-19 on 21 February 2020 in Israel and on 5 March 2020 in the occupied Palestine territory, Israel has consistently violated its obligations to protect and fulfill the right to health of the Palestinian population subject to its control.
In the West Bank, Palestinians are confronted with strict travel limitations in the occupied Palestinian territories, preventing access to healthcare and other necessary services. Palestinians are facing increased settler assaults, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) incursions, and continued house eviction and demolition orders.
In East Jerusalem, While Israel prevents the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian civil society initiatives from extending services to Palestinians in East Jerusalem, Palestinians in East Jerusalem are simultaneously denied access to Israeli healthcare facilities.
In the Gaza Strip, COVID-19 crisis is threatening a population of approximately two million that has been under siege for 13 years. Continued IOF incursions into the Gaza Strip, deep poverty levels and a collapsing healthcare system even before the pandemic are cause for an increased vulnerability in face of the virus.
By not protecting Palestinians against COVID-19 infection and by not allowing the Palestinians to effectively prevent the spread of the virus and treat it, Israel is violating norms of International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law.
This position paper calls for an immediate regional and international mobilization to hold Israel accountable for disregarding its obligations during the pandemic toward the more than five million Palestinians under occupation.
The Global Network of Experts on the Question of Palestine recommends that Israel:
Undertakes effective monitoring and reporting of the COVID-19 spread among Palestinians under its control in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Takes preventative measures to ensure safety and adequate treatment, by ensuring access to medical facilities and personnel.
Allows that Palestinian prisoners receive adequate treatment without discrimination and that those with pre-existing medical conditions, the elderly, children, and those that committed minor offences are released in line with international recommendations and calls.
Provides and allows others to provide, medical equipment and technical assistance to Palestinians to cure and prevent further spread of the virus.
Lifts the blockade on Gaza to allow medical supplies and staff to enter.
Undertakes effective cooperation with relevant Palestinian official an UNRWA to mitigate the risk of spread of the virus into the occupied Palestinian territory and protect the health of Palestinian laborers working in Israel.
Allows for provision of economic relief to affected families that suffer from the consequences of isolation, the restriction of movement and loss of income.
Desists from displacement practices of Palestinians through house evictions and demolitions, aggravating the serious circumstances of the pandemic.
Ensures the safety of Palestinians with regard to settler violence in the West Bank and IOF incursions against Palestinians and their properties.
Ceases immediately and desists from future plans to advance annexation and take measures to cease the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as the minimum step to realize self-determination in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The Global Network of Experts on the Question of Palestine consists of leading international academia, lawyers and human rights activists that share their insights and outlooks on predominant legal and political discussions on the Question of Palestine. The establishment of the GNQP is a result of the three-year program dedicated to the Question of Palestine 70 Years On: Priorities for Action launched in October 2018 by the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) with the purpose of strengthening dialogue on Palestine through strategic, innovative and evidence-based advocacy.