Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

Year

2021

UN Body

World Health Organization

Session

74

Symbol

WHA74/9

Agenda Item

25

Country Concerned

Israel

Condemnatory

Yes

Analysis

  • The World Health Assembly adopts only one resolution focused on a specific country - Israel. It does not single out any other country in the world for such scrutiny, including Syria, where hospitals and medical infrastructure have suffered devastating bombings by Syrian and Russian forces, Yemen, where millions lack access to healthcare due to the current crisis, or Venezuela, where the health system has collapsed. Furthermore, use of terms like "occupied Palestinian territory" and "occupied Syrian Golan" indicate the resolution is blaming Israel for the Palestinians' situation.
  • This year, the WHO went even further, implying that Israel's COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, which did not cover Palestinians under the Palestinian Authority's jurisdiction, was discriminatory and did not comply with international law, but failed to mention that the PA - not Israel - is obligated under the Oslo Accords to provide for the health care of the Palestinians. The resolution, adopted shortly after the ceasefire in the May 2021 Israel/Hamas conflict, also implied that Israel was not in compliance with the Geneva Conventions' obligation to respect protected persons in times of war. At the same time, it ignored all Hamas violations of the right to health, including using Gaza civilians and medical facilities is human shields, and indiscriminately attacking Israeli civilians.

Main Sponsors

Algeria, Andorra, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Africa, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Yemen

Vote

Yes - 83, No - 14, Abstain - 39

Key Praise

None

Key Criticism

  • "Decided to request the Director-General… (2) to support the Palestinian health sector...ensuring the accessibility, affordability and quality of health-care services required to address and deal with tructural problems emanating from the prolonged occupation… (4) to ensure non-discriminatory, affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to the protected occupied population in the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem and in the occupied Syrian Golan in compliance with international law. (5) to ensure the respect and protection of wounded population and injuries, health and humanitarian aid workers, the healthcare systems, all medical and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities in compliance with the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols. (6) to assess...the extent and nature of psychiatric morbidity, and other forms of mental health problems, resulting from protracted aerial and other forms of bombing among the population, particularly children and adolescents, of the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem (8) to provide health-related technical assistance to the Syrian population in the occupied Syrian Golan. (9) to continue providing the necessary technical assistance in order to meet the health needs of the Palestinian people, including prisoners and detainees... (10) to support the development of the health system in the occupied Palestinian territory..."

Full Vote

  • Yes83

    • Algeria
    • Andorra
    • Angola
    • Argentina
    • Armenia
    • Bahrain
    • Bangladesh
    • Barbados
    • Belarus
    • Belgium
    • Bhutan
    • Bolivia
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Botswana
    • Brunei
    • Burkina Faso
    • Burundi
    • Chile
    • China
    • Costa Rica
    • Cuba
    • North Korea
    • Djibouti
    • Dominican Republic
    • Ecuador
    • Egypt
    • El Salvador
    • France
    • Gabon
    • Guyana
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Iran
    • Ireland
    • Jamaica
    • Japan
    • Jordan
    • Kuwait
    • Laos
    • Lebanon
    • Libya
    • Luxembourg
    • Malaysia
    • Maldives
    • Mauritania
    • Mauritius
    • Mexico
    • Mongolia
    • Morocco
    • Mozambique
    • Namibia
    • New Zealand
    • Nicaragua
    • Niger
    • Oman
    • Pakistan
    • Paraguay
    • Peru
    • Philippines
    • Portugal
    • Qatar
    • South Korea
    • Russia
    • San Marino
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Senegal
    • Sierra Leone
    • Singapore
    • South Africa
    • Spain
    • Sri Lanka
    • Switzerland
    • Syria
    • Tajikistan
    • Thailand
    • Tunisia
    • Turkey
    • Uganda
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Tanzania
    • Uzbekistan
    • Vietnam
    • Zimbabwe
  • No14

    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Brazil
    • Cameroon
    • Canada
    • Colombia
    • Czech Republic
    • Germany
    • Honduras
    • Hungary
    • Israel
    • Netherlands
    • United Kingdom
    • United States
  • Abstain39

    • Bahamas
    • Belize
    • Bulgaria
    • Cape Verde
    • Ivory Coast
    • Croatia
    • Cyprus
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Fiji
    • Finland
    • Greece
    • Guatemala
    • Guinea Bissau
    • Haiti
    • Iceland
    • Italy
    • Kenya
    • Latvia
    • Liberia
    • Lithuania
    • Madagascar
    • Malawi
    • Malta
    • Monaco
    • Montenegro
    • Norway
    • Panama
    • Poland
    • Moldova
    • Romania
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Sweden
    • East Timor
    • Tonga
    • Ukraine
    • Uruguay
    • Zambia