Palestinians: Coronavirus

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 25 January 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Tonge Baroness Tonge Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by Amnesty International on 6 January that "the Israeli government must stop ignoring its international obligations as an occupying power and immediately act to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are equally and fairly provided to Palestinians living under its occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip"; and what steps they are taking in response to that statement.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We recognise that under International Humanitarian Law, Israel, as the occupying power, has the duty of ensuring and maintaining public health and hygiene, to the fullest extent of the means available to it, including in relation to combating the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics, in the OPTs. We also recognise the Palestinian Authority's responsibilities for vaccinations under the Oslo Accords (under Article 17). We welcome the steps that the parties have taken so far to coordinate responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and encourage further dialogue in this regard. The UK regularly engages with both the Government of Israel and Palestinian Authority and will continue to raise timely and appropriate access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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