Tell Congress: Demand that Israel provide the COVID-19 vaccine to Palestinians

UPDATE 5/5/2021: Months later, Palestinians live in lockdown as hospitals overflow with COVID-19 patients and only 5% of Palestinians have gotten access to vaccines, while Israelis celebrate the reopened economy and a 60% vaccination rate [1]. But people power is working: it already pushed Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Reps. Mark Pocan (WI-02), and Andre Carson (IN-07) to lead dozens of colleagues in writing to the Biden administration to confront Israel’s medical apartheid. Let's turn up the heat. Take action today & ask your members of Congress to join over 100 progressive organizations to tell the Biden administration: choose justice by demanding healthcare and vaccines for all.

Like all people, Palestinians have the right to live in health and safety. But while the Israeli government rolls out the COVID-19 vaccine to millions of Israeli citizens, Israel is denying the lifesaving vaccine to Palestinians living under its military occupation. On February 15, Israel delayed the transfer of vaccines for medical staff in Gaza [2]. And in another clear example of Israel’s racist policies, the Israeli government planned to vaccinate only Israeli citizens held in their prisons, leaving Palestinians illegally held in Israeli prisons [3] vulnerable to disease and death. Only after massive international outcry, this plan changed.

Let’s be clear: the Israeli government is obligated under international law to provide vaccine access to Palestinians living under its military occupation and is instead actively neglecting their right to healthcare [4]. This endangers Palestinians who are already at risk because of Israel’s systematic destruction of the Palestinian health-care system [5]. For instance, in Gaza, the worsening public health situation is compounded by living under an almost 14 year blockade, facing crushing poverty and ongoing, systematic violence.

COVID-19 is revealing Israel’s brutal decades-old system of separate-and-unequal control over the Palestinian people. This is apartheid, and the U.S. is paying for it with $3.8 billion in unconditional military funding every single year, at the same time as not enough of our healthcare dollars are funding vaccine and healthcare for Black and indigenous communities in the U.S.

Join us—tell your representatives that healthcare for all has no borders: Congress must demand Israel provide the COVID-19 vaccine to Palestinians now.


1. The Fight Against Vaccine Apartheid Goes Global by Dr. Yara Asi, The Nation, Apr 27 2021

2. Israel blocked Covid vaccines from entering Gaza, say Palestinians, The Guardian, Feb 16 2021

3. Israel 'declined WHO request' to provide Covid-19 vaccine for Palestinian medics, Middle East Eye, Jan 11 2021

4. Israel: Provide Vaccines to Occupied Palestinians, Human Rights Watch, Jan 17 2021

5. COVID-19 in the West Bank and Gaza: A second wave under military occupation and siege by Dr. Yara Hawari, MEI, July 29 2020


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Tell Congress: Demand that Israel provide the COVID-19 vaccine to Palestinians

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