A new position paper written by the Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights (PHP) outlines the state’s obligations to guarantee the right to health of Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) as well as Israel’s responsibility for any violation of the implementation of this right throughout the years of its occupation.
While calling on Israel to uphold Palestinians’ right to health, the paper also notes, “Israel’s obligation to guarantee the right to health of Palestinians cannot continue forever, and Israel must work towards ending this obligation, which derives from its status as an occupying power. This is especially true in light of the prolonged occupation and all of its accompanying features of colonialism and apartheid, and considering Israel’s control over most of the necessary conditions for protecting and promoting the right to health.”
The paper stresses that the right to health will not be fully guaranteed until Palestinians’ civil and political rights, both as individuals and as a national collective, are realized.
The paper demands that Israel in the immediate future: allow free and open passage between the different parts of the OPT, enable the Palestinian healthcare system to function as a single unit, cancel the permit regime, end the blockade on the Gaza Strip, and provide funding for medical treatments that are unavailable in the OPT.