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EU urged to act over Israel’s refusal to vaccinate Palestinians

The exclusion of millions of Palestinians by Israel for the Covid-19 vaccine has been condemned by 25 Left MEPs in a letter sent to Josep Borrell.

Together, they are calling on the High Representative for Foreign Affairs to use the EU’s diplomatic links with the Israeli government to ensure that the Palestinian population will not be discriminated.

Israel has made world headlines as being one of the ‘fastest’ in vaccinating its population against Covid-19. However, this hides the fact the millions of Palestinians have been deliberately excluded from the vaccine campaign, whilst it also accounts for the illegal settlers who are living deep inside the West Bank who will get the vaccine, but not those they have displaced.

Thousands of Palestinians illegally imprisoned in Israeli jails have also been denied vaccines by Israel’s Public Security Minister.

The UN has already voiced its concern over Israel’s refusal to vaccinate the Palestinians. This is despite the fact that as an occupying Power, Israel has responsibilities towards the occupied Palestinian territory and the protected population under international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and Israel’s signed agreements with the Palestine Liberation Organization (the Oslo Interim Accords).

B’Tselem, Israel’s best-known human rights organisation, has described Israel’s policy as instituting an apartheid regime in the whole of the territory of historical Palestine.

In addition, 14 Palestinian and Israel human rights organisations had previously issued a statement in December calling on Israel to respect its obligations, and in particular, for Israel to support the purchase of  vaccines for Palestinians.

You can read the full letter to High Representative Josep Borrell here.

Left MEPs who have signed the letter:

1. Manu PINEDA
2. Chris MACMANUS
3. Sira REGO
4. Pernando BARRENA
5. Marisa MATIAS

6. Mick WALLACE
7. Nikolaj VILLUMSEN
8. Giorgos GEORGIOU
9. Marc Johan BOTENGA
10. Anne-Sophie PELLETIER

11. Petros KOKKALIS
12. Stelios KOULOGLOU
13. Dimitrios PAPADIMOULIS
14. Niyazi KIZILYÜREK
15. Martina MICHELS

16. Idoia VILLANUEVA
17. María Eugenia RODRÍGUEZ PALOP
18. Sandra PEREIRA
19. João FERREIRA
20. Silvia MODIG

21. Konstantinos ARVANITIS
22. Manuel BOMPARD
23. Özlem DEMIREL
24. Malin BJÖRK
25. José GUSMÃO