Amnesty says Israel’s shutdown of West Bank health institution will have catastrophic consequences

Al Bireh (QNN)- Amnesty International has said that the Israeli decision to shut down the Palestinian Union of Health Workers Committee (UHWC) will have catastrophic consequences for the health needs of Palestinians in the West Bank.

The Union of Health Workers Committee is one of the main providers of health services in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, running hospitals and health clinics providing medical care to marginalized communities. Israel’s shut down of its headquarters will have major consequences for the provision of essential health services to thousands of Palestinians, a program for women’s health that was at the headquarters has now stopped,” said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“As the occupying power Israel has a clear obligation under international law to protect the rights of all Palestinians – including their right to health. So far they have completely failed to fulfill this responsibility throughout the global pandemic, pursuing a discriminatory Covid-19 vaccination policy. Israeli authorities must immediately rescind the shutdown order and put an end to the harassment of health workers.

“The targeting of UHWC is part of a wider attack by Israel against Palestinian civil society organizations. Instead of criminalizing organizations providing vital health services, the Israeli authorities should be ending their institutionalised discrimination and systematic oppression of Palestinians.”

Israeli occupation forces has raided the UHWC headquarters in Al Bireh. They broke down the door, confiscated computers and memory drives, and issued a military order forcing the office to close for six months. The organization has come under attack repeatedly, with employees facing harassment and arrest for its alleged affiliation with the Popular Liberation Front for Palestine, a Palestinian political party with an armed wing.

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