Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention clearly establish that Israel, as the occupying power, not only has a duty to ensure medical supplies reach hospitals in the OPT, but to ensure and maintain the services of the hospitals too. As High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, other states not only have a moral duty but also a legal obligation to ensure Israel abides by its commitments to the protected population of the OPT.
As a States Party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Israel is obliged under Article 24 of the treaty to recognise the right of every child under its effective jurisdiction “to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services”.
Dec 19, 2-11 | Al Mezan
Today Al Mezan releases ‘Children in the Gaza Strip’s Access to Medical Care’ a factsheet published under the Save the Children UK funded project ‘Child Rights at the Centre: Enhancing National Capacities to Monitor, Document, and Report on Child Rights Issues in the oPt.’ The factsheet documents Israel’s policies towards the Gaza Strip which result in children being denied the right to access proper medical care.
The ongoing siege on Gaza which stops essential medical equipment and drugs from entering and causes sporadic fuel and electricity cuts combined with the closure system which prevents medical professionals from travelling abroad to access advanced training outside Gaza. These policies have resulted in a medical system in Gaza which cannot provide care and procedures for many patients. Children requiring care that is unavailable have to go outside Gaza, usually to hospitals in Israel, Jerusalem or the West Bank (as well as to Egypt and Jordan). In order to access these hospitals children require a permit from the Israeli authorities. The process for acquiring a permit is long and complex and often results in denials. Since January 2008, 4 children have died because their application was denied or took too long to be approved.
Israel also denies children’s access to medical care when it prevents ambulances from accessing the Buffer Zone. Ambulances require prior coordination with the Israeli military authorities before they can access the sick or injured in the Buffer Zone. 173 children have died because ambulances have been denied access to reach them (throughout the Gaza Strip, not just in the Buffer Zone).
The policies outlined in this factsheet result in serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law which Israel, as the Occupying Power in the Gaza Strip, has an obligation to uphold.
“Children in the Gaza Strip are deprived from receiving quality medical treatment and access to procedures that can save their lives. The right to access medical treatment and to enjoy the highest attainable physical and psychological health is one of the Israeli systematic violations of children’s rights in the Gaza Strip,” Samir Zaqout, Al Mezan’s fieldwork coordinator, states. “This has particularly been the case in the last five years since Israel tightened its siege on the Gaza Strip.”
In addition to the polices outlined in this factsheet which directly affect access to medical care Samir Zaqout says that “the Israeli siege has caused a deterioration in the health of children due to increasing poverty levels and diseases among children such as anemia. Israeli military attacks have also injured thousands of children, hundreds of them sustaining permanent physical disabilities.”
█▌ note from occupiedpalestine:
Dear friends, ikwaan wa akhawaat,
This blog is campaigning on twitter and social networks to fundraise for the surgery for Samar, 10yr old girl from Ramallah suffering of a brain tumor and in urgent need of life saving surgery. Kindly notice she will not get any help in Palestine nor Israel . We want to succeed before 2012 so this will also be a great relief for her and family, knowing that 2012 really might bring a change AND a healthy future. Please donate even when it is a little or help to spread this appeal if as wide as possible.
At the moment we reached 72% so just a little more help is needed to save a life. May Allaah SWT reward all who are helping in any way. Ameen ya Rab
The appeal and the donationmodule can be found at the website of the Palestine Children Relief Fund
- #IsraelKills Dialysis in Gaza – 450 Patients Lives Are In Danger | Dec 15, 2011
- Palestinian deaths following infringement of right to medical treatment in the OPT, 2000 -2011| Btselem
- Avoidable Mortality in the Occupied Palestinian Territories | Genocide by passive aggression: Deliberate deprivation
- Israel Restricts the Access of Gaza Patients to Urgent Medical Treatment if their Condition is Not Life-Threatening | In violation of Medical Ethics and International Law | Al mezan | June 30, 2010
- Children and Armed Conflict: Developments in the OPT | UN | April 13, 2010
How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.