This year we mark World Health Day as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to sweep across the globe, disproportionately impacting those subjected to situations of institutionalised oppression, discrimination, and injustice. For the Palestinian people, COVID-19 has brought to the forefront Israel’s apartheid regime of systematic racial domination and oppression over all Palestinians,[i] which for decades has led to the fragmentation and de-development of the healthcare system of the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip,[ii] and denied Palestinians the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.[iii]
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[i] See Al-Haq, “Palestinian, regional, and international groups submit report on Israeli apartheid to UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” 12 November 2019, available at: . See also Rania Muhareb and Nada Awad, “COVID-19 and apartheid,” This Week in Palestine, April 2020, available at: ; Osama Tanous, “Coronavirus outbreak in the time of apartheid,” 24 March 2020, Al Jazeera, available at: .
[ii] Al-Haq, “Joint Statement: On Land Day Civil Society Urge Accountability and End to Israel’s Illegal Closure of Gaza,” 30 March 2020, available at: .
[iii] International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (adopted 16 December 1966, entry into force 3 January 1976) 993 UNTS 3 (ICESCR), Article 12(1).