Yet another urgent cry for help concerning the dire medical care catastrophe in the Israeli occupied territories of Palestine. Israel has cut off tax revenues they have collected, essentially confiscating Palestinian wages for work done. At the same time international donors have cut-off aid in an unconscionable act allegedly protesting an unwanted outcome to a democratic election in January 2006. The targets may have been Palestinian leaders, but it is ordinary people that have been hit.
As a consequence of these measures, the PA [Palestinian Authority] has been unable to pay regular salaries since March 2006. Health workers employed by the PA have since received provisional allowances through the Temporary International Mechanism established by the European Union . However they joined a general open-ended strike on 23 August demanding full payment of long-overdue salaries and guarantees that salaries in the upcoming months will be paid.
According to media reports, unions representing health professionals in the West Bank have announced that as of 15 November public medical services will be further restricted. This will affect people requiring emergency care, chronic patients and deliveries of newborns as Primary Health Centers will be closed down and emergency rooms at public hospitals will stop operating.
“WHO is very concerned about the announced reduction of services and the deterioration of vital medical services. This will further exacerbate the already difficult humanitarian situation affecting Palestinian lives and their right to enjoy the highest possible level of physical and mental health, ” said WHO’s Head of Office, Ambrogio Manenti. (WHO Statement via EI)
Bullets, tank shells, rockets, suicide bombs and machine guns are not the only ways to kill people.