GENEVA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) approved a draft decision on Wednesday calling on Israel to ensure adequate health care for those residing in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan.
The 76th World Health Assembly delegates passed the resolution with 76 votes in favor, 13 against and 35 abstaining.
According to the draft decision, COVID-19 was the primary cause of death in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, in 2021, followed by cardiovascular disease and cancer.
It said the probability of dying between the ages of 30 and 70 from select noncommunicable diseases was 26.7 percent compared to 8.8 percent in Israel.
Meanwhile, the multiple indicator cluster survey for the occupied Palestinian territory in 2019 and 2020 revealed inequities in the infant mortality rate, it said.
In the occupied Palestinian territory, the infant mortality rate for Palestinians was 12 per 1,000, with a higher rate of 17 per 1,000 for children born in refugee camps. In comparison, Israel had an infant mortality rate of 3 per 1,000.
WHO Director-General has advised Israel to end the arbitrary delay and denial of access for Palestinian patients and their companions and promote unhindered movement for Palestinians throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem and between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where patients with chronic conditions such as cancer have been required to obtain permits. The permits should be issued for more extended periods of at least six months.
The report also called upon Israel to ensure that parents are not prevented from accompanying their children and emphasized the timely issuance of permits based on medical necessity and urgency, taking into account the hospital appointment dates.
The WHO recommended prioritizing health care spending to ensure the continuity of essential services across the occupied Palestinian territory. ■