| 2 March 2024, Saturday |

WHO board to hold emergency meeting on Gaza health situation

On December 10, the executive board of the World Health Organization will convene in an uncommon emergency meeting to address the health crisis in Gaza and the West Bank. The Palestinian ambassador is advocating for increased medical assistance and easier access for foreign healthcare professionals.

The session will be called by Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus after consulting with the chair from Qatar, as the WHO revealed on Monday that it had received requests to conduct the meeting from 15 different nations.

The Palestinian ambassador to the U.N. 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”.

  • Reuters