The World Health Organisation’s executive board will hold a rare emergency session on December 10 to discuss the health crisis in Gaza and the West Bank, with the Palestinian envoy seeking more medical aid and access for foreign healthcare workers. The WHO confirmed on Monday it had received a request from15 countries to hold the session, which will be convened by Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in consultation with the Qatari chair.
The Palestinian ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ibrahim Khraishi, said the meeting would focus mostly on Gaza, engulfed by war between its Hamas rulers and Israel, but also cover attacks on the health sector in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
“We want to empower the WHO and call for the Israeli side not to target the medical sector. We want to allow for fresh medical supplies,” he told Reuters, adding that his diplomatic mission was drafting a motion to be reviewed by the board. “One idea is to send more doctors in from around the world,” he added, saying many countries had offered.
The “Occupied Palestinian Territory” is a WHO observer rather than a member state but has influence in the organisation through supporters.
Israel said the session was an example of the “double standards and disproportionate attention towards Israel in the multilateral arena”. Only a fraction of Gaza’s hospitals remain operational due to Israeli bombings and a lack of fuel, and those that are still functioning are increasingly overwhelmed by a new wave of wounded arriving.
In other news – David Beckham embarks on new humanitarian campaign
David Beckham has lent his voice to support the fight against malaria for many years through his role on the Malaria No More UK Leadership Council.
The football star recently shared the Change the Story campaign video from Zero Malaria on his Instagram to raise further awareness. As a founding council member since 2009, Beckham is dedicated to elevating the issue through his platform. Read more