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Int J Health Serv. 2004;34(2):341-64.

The politics of deteriorating health: the case of Palestine.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. dqato@jhsph.edu

Abstract

This article reviews the deteriorating health situation of the Palestinian population during the post-Oslo period of the Palestinian Authority and during the current Intifada. It seeks to record findings obtained through primary participants and documents and from personal observations in the field that situate Palestinian health conditions within their political framework. The ongoing crisis highlights longstanding problems in the Palestinian health infrastructure, which make it more vulnerable to Israeli policies, especially the movement restrictions and closures. Efforts by Palestinian professionals and the international health community to provide health services have been constantly thwarted. The Israeli authorities' disregard for Palestinian health care has escalated since 2000 and is directly responsible for a vast number of Palestinian deaths. Israel's indiscriminate obstructions to the coordinated functioning of a health care system in Palestine increase morbidity, degrade health, promote premature deaths, and damage the medical infrastructure. Moreover, the Israeli actions transgress international law and, ultimately, make peace in the region much less likely. This analysis provides further evidence of the social justice violations and the wide-ranging effects on health experienced daily by the Palestinian people as a direct result of the Israeli military occupation.

PMID:
15242163
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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