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Urgent appeal to the Prime Minister: Israel is morally and legally responsible for the lives and safety of the residents of East Jerusalem living on both sides of the separation wall

On April 1, 2020, HaMoked and Physicians for Human Rights –Israel sent an urgent letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health regarding the responsibility of the Israeli government to the welfare, safety and health of the entire population of East Jerusalem. This, given the authorities delays in acting to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods on both sides of the separation wall.

The letter made clear that the population of East Jerusalem is a victim of years of neglect on part of the Israeli authorities, and consequently suffers from poor sanitation conditions, failing infrastructures, overcrowding and poverty. Moreover, fear of the authorities has been instilled in this population. This means that the East Jerusalem public is particularly at risk during a pandemic.

Therefore, the government ministries and bodies charged with handling the coronavirus outbreak – the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Security Council, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Defense – must take urgent and comprehensive steps to protect the health of the East Jerusalem population. In this framework, the authorities should act to inform the public about ways to prevent contagion, carry out tests and epidemiological investigations, monitor and ensure access to isolation locations – all this in order to protect the healthy and help the sick and isolated in all East Jerusalem neighborhoods. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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