Part 4 - Geneva Convention Requires Occupier Israel to Protect Occupied Palestinians, Especially During Pandemic
Israel is the occupying power and thus has a legal duty to protect, not facilitate the oppression of, the occupied Palestinians.
As the World Health Organization stated, “Israel, as occupying power, retains the primary responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health in the occupied Palestinian territory, comprising the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”
Indeed, the Fourth Geneva Convention establishes Israel’s duty to provide “medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory, with particular reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics.”
Yet by April 24, there were more than 300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the occupied Palestinian territories, and the Israeli settlers, with government backing, have only increased their violent attacks on Palestinians throughout the West Bank.
PCHR issues weekly reports on Israel’s human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories. Its April 23-29, 2020 edition documents in detail Israel’s interference with Palestinian efforts to combat the coronavirus.