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Date posted: May 18, 2006
By Palestinian Health NGOs

We, the Palestinian health providers in the non governmental sector express our deep concern and rage at the rapid deterioration of health conditions, as an outcome of the imposed political and economical sanctions against the fairly elected Palestinian government as many of the international donors decided to stop their financial aid to the PNA. This coincided with Israeli escalations practiced against Palestinian civilians by the non stop intensive artillery shelling, assassinations, massive detentions and strict closures.

We express our deep worries regarding the continuous separation and restriction of movement, within the Palestinian areas (WB and Gaza). We firmly warn of the rapidly deteriorating economic situation in Palestine, due to withholding of funds and boycotting of US and EU countries to the Palestinian government and cut off their humanitarian aid. We consider this behavior as an unjust collective punishment to Palestinian people due to their own and democratic choice of their new government.

As a result, the economic, social and health conditions in the OPT are deteriorating to an unprecedented and alarming levels and warning of a dangerous health and humanitarian catastrophe with negative impact upon different health services and programmes including; hospital services, vaccination, epidemics control, mental health and nutrition.

Cancer patients and patients on renal dialysis units both adults and children, are dreadfully threatened by lack of treatment. Stopping external aid to the already vulnerable Palestinians leads to deterioration and future collapse of the Palestinian health system.

Sanctions will inevitably increase malnutrition amongst children, particularly the under fives. Additionally, the current situation constitutes a major cause for deterioration of mental health status in general and in particular children and women.

We appeal to the international community to react, urgently and to take their full responsibility towards the Palestinian people.

The current siege, Israeli aggression, and international aid sanctions that Palestinians are currently encountering are blatant violations of human rights, particularly the right to health, as set by international law.

We stress on the complementary and cooperative relation between the governmental and the local civil society health providers. In this regard, the international intentions to support the non-governmental health sector as a substitute for the governmental health system is totally rejected.

We also emphasize that any attempt to use the Palestinian NGOs as a tool to pass external political agendas through foreign funding is strongly unacceptable. Moreover, all the international and local NGOs or sectors are absolutely unable to replace even to minimum the of Palestinian health requirements even for the shortest period.

we call upon international community, particularly donor governments and NGOs, to immediately resume their funding to the Palestinian Authority to help Palestinian people enjoy their basic health and human rights.

International community and human rights organizations are requested to exert pressure on Israel as an occupying state to stop escalating aggression against Palestinians and to re-open borders allowing free movement of goods and medication. Israel, as an occupier has the legal responsibly for the Palestinian occupied territories. On the other hand, international community has the moral and humanitarian responsibly for the catastrophic repercussions that will result from imposing sanctions and sieges on the Palestinian people.

We highly appreciate the role and contributions of friend countries and NGOs-in and outside Palestine- for their supportive positions and stands against cutting fund and imposing restrictions on the Palestinian people. In this regard, we appeal to them to continue their financial and political support for Palestinians in order to avoid serious humanitarian catastrophe.

Source: Palestinian Health NGOs, 18 May. 2006
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