Nadia Whittome MP calls for Palestinians to be vaccinated against COVID-19

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MP Nadia Whittome has tabled a motion in Parliament calling on the UK government to do more to ensure Palestinians living in the occupied territories are vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The United Nations has confirmed that the Israeli government is legally obliged to protect the right to health of people in the occupied territories. However, human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and UNHR, have raised concerns about the Israeli government’s lack of action in vaccinating Palestinians who live there. 

The motion expresses alarm at the “unjust and stark contrast between Israeli citizens, including settlers in the West Bank, who are receiving Covid-19 vaccinations at one of the most rapid rates in the world and the unprotected and vulnerable state of Palestinians in the occupied territories”. 

It urges the government to use “all diplomatic and foreign aid routes” to address the disparity and uphold human rights. 

Nadia Whittome, MP for Nottingham East, said: 

“The Israeli government is shirking its legal and moral obligations to 4.5 million people. While it has already vaccinated more than a fifth of its population, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have not even begun to receive their jabs. Israeli settlements are being vaccinated yet Palestinians living metres away are not. 

“The British government cannot be neutral in the face of such injustice and must make clear to the Israeli government that it is obligated to vaccinate all those living under its occupation without discrimination.”