Israel’s destruction of Palestinian property undermines efforts to curb Covid-19

Note to editors:

  • International humanitarian law (IHL) requires Israel, as the occupying power, to protect the population of the territory that it occupies, and ensure the welfare and wellbeing of Palestinians, as well as respect for their human rights. Israel has a legal obligation to ensure and maintain health facilities, services, and supplies in occupied Palestinian territory. If unable to adequately provide for the needs of the occupied population, Israel must allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded humanitarian relief.
  • Destruction of property, including humanitarian relief consignments, by the occupying power is prohibited, except for reasons of imperative military necessity, and amounts to a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Demolitions combined with other factors, such as the denial of basic service infrastructure, including water, sanitation, and community health care facilities, aggravate the coercive environment in which Palestinians throughout the West Bank live, generate a risk of forcible transfer, and contribute to the spread of Covid-19.

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