“In the Occupied Territories, there have been almost 210,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 2,200 deaths,” reads the statement. “The population density and high levels of poverty exacerbate infections despite the imposition of curfews and closures.”
But ongoing military occupation has resulted in a situation in which the Palestinian authorities do not have adequate means to purchase and administer vaccines or to address the impact of COVID-19, the statement continues.
“Israel has committed to provide a total of 5,000 vaccine doses to the Palestinian Authority, and to vaccinate the estimated 100,000 Palestinians who work in Israel or in the settlements,” reads the statement. “But the disparity remains stark.”
Under international humanitarian and human rights law, the responsibility for ensuring access to vaccines in occupied territory rests with the occupying power. "We therefore call on Israel to fulfil its obligations under international law and to ensure equitable access to coronavirus vaccines for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories,” concludes the statement. “We call again for an end to the occupation, and a just peace for both Palestinians and Israelis.”
The 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council is being held from 22 February through 23 March.