Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Hanan Ashrawi said today that “Israel´s detention of Jerusalem Minister Fadi Hidmi is an outrageous act of willful sabotage of the Palestinian government’s concerted efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in Palestine.
“Instead of focusing its efforts on oppressing Palestinians and preventing the Palestinian government’s efforts to provide Jerusalemites with assistance and needed healthcare to combat the spread of the virus, Israel must honor its obligations as an occupying Power under international law towards the Palestinian population under its illegal control,” she said in a statement.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, she added, “Israeli occupation authorities have been deliberately derelict of their obligations to carry out vigorous testing of the Palestinian population in and around Jerusalem. This criminally negligent behavior is compounded by Israeli occupation authorities obstructing all Palestinian efforts to disinfect neighborhoods, raise awareness, and provide assistance to families financially affected by the crisis.”
Ashrawi continued, “Repressive Israeli measures have sharply increased, especially those targeting Palestinian neighborhoods and villages in and around Jerusalem, including nightly raids and arbitrary detentions, as well as harassment and detention of volunteers.”
The PLO official blamed Israel for taking “advantage of this global crisis to entrench its illegal occupation and increase its human rights violations. Israel’s occupation regime and illegal practices are the most dangerous and damaging factors undermining Palestinian efforts to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening the lives of tens of thousands of vulnerable Palestinians in Jerusalem and beyond.”
“Combating this pandemic requires global cooperation and solidarity. It also requires vigilance and accountability for human rights violations. We call on all responsible states to stand up to Israeli violations so that we can all focus our energies on saving lives.”