« Siege is leading to a health catastrophe in Palestine »
15 mai 2006 - Health sector - Palestinian NGOs Network
Many international parties decided to stop their financial aid to the Palestinian people, following the Palestinian Legislative Elections that took place on 26 of January 2006 and was described as the most democratic and transparent in the region, which led to forming a new Palestinian government. This coincided with Israeli escalations against Palestinian civilians including ; intensive artillery shelling, assassinations, massive detentions, strict closures. As a result, the economic, social and health conditions in the OPT has deteriorated to an unprecedented and alarming level, warning of a dangerous humanitarian catastrophe.
We, the members of the health sector in Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network “PNGO”, working in the field of health services, emphasize the following :
1- The current siege, Israeli aggression, and international aid sanctions that Palestinians are currently encountering are blatant violations of human rights, particularly the right to health, as set by international law.
2- Stopping external aid to the Palestinian Authority leads to deterioration in the Palestinian health system and the Palestinian health conditions, especially in the area of vaccinations and chronic diseases ; leading to paralysis of work at hospitals, especially in the theatre rooms and dialysis sections.
3- These sanctions are also leading to an increase in malnutrition for children, particularly under five years old. Additionally, the current conditions constitute a major cause for deteriorating the mental health situation of Palestinian citizens, particularly among children.
4-We stress on the complementary and cooperative relation between the public and the private sectors. In this regard, the international intentions to support the non-governmental health sector as a substitute for the governmental health system is totally rejected.
5. We also emphasize that any attempt to use the Palestinian NGOs as a tool to pass external political agendas through foreign funding is strongly unacceptable. We, as NGOs, express our respect for the democratic Palestinian choice, as well as our full commitment to the Palestinian national agenda.
6. We call upon all international parties, particularly donor governments and NGOs, to immediately resume their funding to the Palestinian Authority to help Palestinian people enjoy their basic health and human rights.
7 we call upon the international community and human rights organizations to pressure Israel as an occupying state to stop its escalating aggression on Palestinians and to re-open borders allowing free movement of goods and medication. We also call upon them, to pressure the Israeli government to return the Palestinian Authority’s seized money, which constitutes about one third of the Palestinian budget. Regaining their money, Palestinians will be more able to improve their medical and humanitarian conditions.
8. We hold the Israeli government, as an occupying power, the legal responsibly ; we also hold the international community the moral and humanitarian responsibly for the catastrophic repercussions that will result from imposing sanctions and siege on the Palestinian people.
9. We highly appreciate the role and contributions of friend countries and NGOs - in and outside Palestine- for their positions against cutting fund and imposing restrictions on the Palestinian people. In this regard, we appeal to them to continue their financial and political support for Palestinian in order to avoid serious humanitarian catastrophe.