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Palestinians gain more rights at WHO amid applause

Photo: Agence France Presse/WHO/Pierre Albouy Once the measure was adopted, the Palestinian representative went to his new place, between the Republic of Palau and Panama. The Palestinian state already held observer status with the WHO.

France Media Agency in Geneva

Posted at 4:24 p.m.

  • Middle East

Member countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) granted additional rights to Palestinians on Saturday, adopting a measure decided the day before at the World Health Assembly, based on the model of that taken at the beginning of May by the United Nations General Assembly.

“Is the Assembly ready to adopt the declaration? I do not see any “objection, the declaration is adopted,” said its president, Dr. Edwin Dikoloti, drawing loud applause from the delegates.

The Palestinian State, which already has observer status with the WHO, is thus granted practically the same rights as if it were a full member.

Once the measure was adopted, the Palestinian representative went to his new place, between the Republic of Palau and Panama, still to applause.

Ryad Awaja, advisor for economic and social affairs of the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine, was then congratulated by dozens of diplomats.

This extension of Palestinian rights was approved in committee on Friday, by 101 votes to 5.

At the Assembly in Geneva, the Palestinians and their supporters abandoned their demand for full membership. Several diplomatic sources have raised concerns that a vote in favor of this status could trigger an automatic suspension of American funding to the organization.

In addition to the right to sit among member states, Palestinian representatives will now be able to submit proposals and amendments, and be elected to the office of the plenary and main committees of the AMS.

However, “Palestine, as an observer State, does not have the right to vote in the Health Assembly or to present its candidacy to the organs of the WHO”, specifies the text.

On May 10, the UN General Assembly granted, by an overwhelming majority, some additional rights to the Palestinians , in the absence of real membership blocked by the United States in the Security Council.

The AMS decision comes in the eighth month of the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The conflict was sparked by the attack unprecedented action by Hamas on October 7 on Israeli territory.

It led to the death of more than 1,189 people, mainly civilians, according to a count carried out by AFP from the latest official data available.

In retaliation, Israel launched an offensive which has left 36,379 dead in the Gaza Strip so far, according to the ministry of Health of the Hamas administration.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116