Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group briefing on COVID-19, vaccines and deepening inequalities in the occupied Palestinian territory

The All Party Group held a session on 1st March and have published a video of the session which you can access here.

Here is some of the information the group sent out.

Some of the organisations who came to the briefing can be accessed below

Key resources:

  • World Health Organization: Dr Ben Bouquet
    • Attached: Presentation slides
  • Oxfam: Najla Shawa
    • Attached: A joint letter (sent to Dominic Raab and other European Foreign Ministers) calling for action to ensure free and equitable access to CV19 vaccines – coordinated by Oxfam and signed by MAP, Save the Children and others
  • Medical Aid for Palestinians: Rohan Talbot
    • Attached: Position paper: ‘Equal access to COVID-19 vaccines: who is responsible in the occupied Palestinian territory?’
    • Further resources: Coverage of issues relating to vaccine uptake among Palestinian/Syrian refugees in Lebanon here; UK Aid-funded Bath University research on community responses to COVID in Gaza (with aid policy recommendations) here (get in touch for contacts)
  • Diakonia: Eitan Diamond
    • Attached: Presentation slides and 1 page briefing: ‘COVID-19 in the oPt: What are the obligations of third states?’
    • Further resources: Legal analysis on responsibilities regarding vaccinations in the oPt here and COVID-19 publications here

MAP’s recommendations for UK government action are here (with more detail in the executive summary of MAP’s position paper), and Rohan would be happy to draft written/oral questions on these:

  • UK should publicly remind Israel of its duties as an occupying power regarding the availability of vaccines and other health goods in the OPT (as Ireland did at the Security Council last week), and also publicly monitor its adherence to these duties
  • UK should also promote accountability for the violations of international law – such as the blockade and closure of Gaza and repeated attacks on healthcare workers and facilities – that have long undermined the capacity of the health system to cope with the pandemic. The upcoming (March) Human Rights Council resolutions on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory are an important opportunity for this.
  • UK should urge the PA to ensure it distributes its vaccine stocks equitably in the West Bank & Gaza, and consider supporting its vaccine roll-out with technical and other aid assistance
  • Long-term, reform the UK’s aid support to the oPt, placing the principles of self-determination and sustainable development at the heart of aid and ensure Palestinians are meaningfully consulted in the development of aid initiatives.

For those who might be interested, Caabu together with our partners DCI Palestine, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights and Save the Children, is hosting a public briefing on child detention on 11 March. Details here: You can also find questions that were asked of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office today on issues related to Palestine earlier today, which may be of interest: