COVID-19 is presenting a disparate threat to Palestinians in Israel and in the Occupied Territories. Adalah has been taking emergency legal action before the Israeli Supreme Court to demand access to healthcare, and to promote dignified living conditions and civil liberties protections. The government's deliberate neglect of Palestinians over decades through gross discrimination, and its protracted military Occupation, is being amplified during this crisis with potentially disastrous outcomes.
The government's inadequate response exposed Palestinians to the disease unnecessarily, due to substandard protection measures, lack of testing, and limited emergency medical services. Their poor living conditions are deteriorating further with the closure of thousands of small businesses, high unemployment, and children deprived of long-distance learning, due to lack of access to internet and computers. The most vulnerable also include Bedouin living in unrecognized villages and prisoners.
Adalah successfully secured testing centers for Palestinians in East Jerusalem and compelled authorities to publish health guidelines in Arabic, by prioritizing humanitarian cases resulting from the COVID-19 crisis and representing vulnerable groups. Adalah is identifying emerging economic rights violations, assisting Palestinians on legal matters, working with partners in litigation, advocacy and media outreach, and producing webinars for the Arab public and international decision-makers.
Adalah will challenge discriminatory aspects of the state's coronavirus exit plan, particularly regarding the unemployed, which is already adversely effecting Palestinians in different sectors. Adalah will also continue to challenge Emergency Regulations granting excessive powers to the intelligence services that may be used to unlawfully surveil all citizens. Our work is shedding light on systematic discrimination and drawing int'l attention to coronavirus-related human rights violations.