The WHO ambassador for the Eastern Mediterranean urged “contructive and participative” approaches to Palestinian health without criticising Israel.
“Now that Israel has a WHO office, we should be able to fact-check” Palestinian accusations, said Dr. Michel Thieren, who is the representative at Tel Aviv.
Since 2021, he’s WHO’s Israel liaison.
Thieren criticised the paper’s “unilateral method” from its Sheikh Jarrah headquarters, saying it politicises healthcare and lacks useful ideas. He said he’d examine active topics before delegates saw them.
Israel has produced a yearly health report since capturing Samaria, Judea, and Golan Heights. FDD analyst David May said the document “damages Israel’s credibility.”
May stated that Congress should focus on healthcare systems.
The poll excludes Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon and territories held by Syria, focusing instead on those in Israel, the territories, as well as “occupied” Golan Heights, in which Arab Israelis enjoy universal health care. This year’s report designated Golan Palestinians without naming them.
WHO estimates in excess of five million Palestinians in Gaza, Jerusalem, and West Jerusalem. 30% of West Bankers and seventy percent of Gazans happen to be considered refugees.
In addition, there are over 3 million refugees from Palestine who live in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
The report blames Israeli activity for health issues in the settlements, such as the death of a 16-year-old with acute leukaemia.
Israeli officials denied Saleem, 16, outside-Gaza treatment. Due to Health Ministry debt, the hospital couldn’t receive the patient a fourth time. Saleem died in Ramallah while his sixth visa application was pending.
Thieren has no rejected patients. Israel treats Gaza and West Bank patients.
In 2021, over 60% of Gaza healthcare permit applications were approved, 1% were refused, and 36% were postponed. According to studies, 10 to 17% of West Bank Palestinian licences were refused last year. They generally treated patients.
Palestinians, not Israel, impede patient evacuation, says Thieren. Money reportedly complicates everything.
Thieren: “We misread situations.” The report’s examples show otherwise. Israel acknowledges health-rights violations. Both agree.”
The report underlines Israel’s blockade of Gaza and ban on dual-use goods Hamas employs for terror.
Since 2007, Gaza’s borders have been sealed. The respondents also indicated that colonial infrastructure and permanent and ‘flying’ checks limit health care delivery.
It also emphasised attacks on healthcare professionals, notably during the Hamas-Israel war in May, when 235 violent incidents occurred.
May termed it biassed.
He suggested Israeli actions may have hurt Palestinian health. These limitations can’t be addressed immediately. Nothing will change unless we comprehend Israel’s motive, Palestinian terrorism.”
Hamas utilises Gaza medical facilities as missile launchpads, endangering healthcare personnel.
Ukraine and Russia are at war in 2022, along with COVID-19 murdering millions. WHA shouldn’t feature Israel, he added.
Thieren argues Jerusalem, the Palestinians, and a more moderate Israeli administration enhanced health collaboration during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Ramallah and Jerusalem speak regularly, said Thieren. “Not every collaboration has official ties; some is done quietly, but there are numerous case transfers and talks.”
“This research doesn’t address these objectives,” says Thieren. Sensational WHA conversations should be avoided.”