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Israeli human rights organization highlights deterioration of Palestinian health under occupation

April 5, 2015

Toronto – The respected Israeli human rights group Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I) has released two extremely important reports “Divide and Conquer” and “No Safe Place”.

"Divide and Conquer" documents the deterioration of Palestinian health in the West Bank and Gaza as the direct consequence of ongoing Israeli military occupation.

“The report compiles data that reveal numerous severe disparities,” says Canadian physician and Independent Jewish Voices – Canada (IJV) spokesperson, Dr. Miriam Garfinkle. “Infant mortality is five times higher than in Israel, and maternal mortality is four times higer. There is a 10 year gap in life expectancy between Israelis and Palestinians. Expenditure for health care per capita in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is only one-eighth of the expenditure for Israel’s health services. There are 8 times more specialists in Israel than in the Palestinian health care system in the West Bank and Gaza.”

“The report in January 2015 by PHR-I – “No Safe Place” – details a fact-finding mission into last summer’s assault on Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of more than 2,100 Palestinians, including more than 500 children, left over 10,000 Palestinians wounded, and more than 100,000 Palestinians homeless,” says Dr. Garfinkle.

The report shows that during the assault, the Israeli army targeted medical supplies and facilities and refused to allow medical evacuations. There was no place to find shelter for civilians in Gaza during the attacks, and there is evidence that people were used as human shields by the Israeli army. Psychological consequences to the population, especially children, have been devastating and severe.

PHR-I calls for a broad framework for investigation by a national committee of inquiry that will cover not only the conduct of the Israeli army, but Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza.

“IJV calls attention to these reports that outline the ongoing violence against the Palestinian people through the illegal and brutal occupation of the West Bank, the continuing siege of Gaza, and the repeated extreme and devastating attacks on the civilian population of Gaza,” concludes Dr. Garfinkle.

For more information contact:
Dr. Miriam Garfinkle
Independent Jewish Voices – Canada (IJV)
Phone: 416-897-0008

Further Reading/Viewing:

The Israeli Military has repeatedly violated Medical Ethic Codes during its Gaza Offensive

Independent fact-finding mission of medical experts publishes special report on the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip

Born in Gaza

Gaza’s traumatised generation

Health in the occupied Palestinian territory

Health care and children in crisis in Gaza

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