World Health Assembly passes bill on Palestine

World Health Organisation headquarters, Geneva (Wikipedia)

World Health Assembly passes bill on Palestine

Middle East Monitor  /  May 27, 2021

The 74th World Health Assembly (WHA) yesterday gathered to back a resolution on health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories, Anadolu Agency reports.

The resolution was passed despite opposition from Israel and other countries including the US and the UK.

There were 83 votes in favor and 14 against the resolution, with 39 countries abstaining.

The resolution was supported by Algeria, Andorra, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Africa, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, the UAE, Venezuela and Yemen.

The countries that voted against the resolution included Israel, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, the UK, and the US.

The report covers a wide range of longstanding issues faced by Palestinians such as: the lack of access to specialist hospitals in Israeli occupied Jerusalem; Israeli limitations on the movement of Palestinian emergency services; lack of Palestinian access to Covid vaccines, and an overall lower quality of health services.

“The net result of those factors, compounded by chronic violence, poor housing, inadequate water and sanitation services, also leave Palestinians with a shorter average life expectancy,” WHO’s Ibrahima Socé Fall and Ahmed al-Mandhari, regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean, pointed out in the report.