11 MARCH 2021
The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
Questions and Answers
Question: I have a second question, Farhan, regarding this… the email you sent to me about the vaccine that might be reaching Gaza in the next few weeks from COVAX. And I have been asking about the responsibility of Israel to you for a few weeks now. Israel, as an occupying Power, is responsible for the well‑being and the health of people who are under occupation.
Now, Israel is selling the extra vaccines it had and it is donating to Guatemala, El Salvador, Czech Republic and Hungary, donating the vaccine, while the Palestinian people are dying now, and they declared emergency because of the alarming rate of COVID‑19 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. [cell phone ringing]
That’s my question, about the responsibility of Israel.
Spokesman: Well, we’ve made clear that Israel has responsibilities for the occupied territories. We have been working with the Israeli authorities to make sure that we can help with their efforts to support the vaccinations, and Israel has worked closely with the UN and its partners through the course of the pandemic to ensure that equipment and supplies have been delivered throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza. So, we appreciate that, but, yes, we want Israel to live up to its obligations under international law.
And then beyond that, as I believe we’ve informed you, the COVAX facility is also working to get vaccines, and we hope that that will get into the Palestinian territories in the next couple of weeks.
For information media. Not an official record.
Document Sources: Secretary-General, United Nations Department of Global Communications
Subject: Gaza Strip, Health, Human rights and international humanitarian law, Legal issues, Occupation, Population, Protection
Publication Date: 11/03/2021
URL source: https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/db210311.doc.htm