Lack of safe water and sanitation, limited medical supplies, uncertain access to facilities and services. These are just a few of the health and social care challenges that Palestinians living in the occupied territories face every day – challenges that threaten their lives, liberty and security.
To explore ways in which this crisis can be addressed, the New Statesman, with the support of the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, held a round-table discussion with leading commentators. The conversation was informed, considered and animated as our participants debated the critical questions facing Palestinians.
For instance, what are the main obstacles to health and medical care in Palestine and how can these best be tackled? Until a solution to these difficulties can be found, how can Palestine meet its health and medical needs? What steps can be taken to help unify the health-care system in Gaza and the West Bank? What impact does aid dependency have on Palestine’s ability to become a sustainable state? What role can the international
community play to ensure that the region becomes sustainable? What impact has the UN bid had in situ? Have the Israeli elections, which took place in January, affected the situation on the ground?
There were no easy answers. With the Palestinian health and social care system unequivocally linked to the political situation, it was felt that long-lasting improvements could be made only if Israel and Palestine can resolve their conflict. Whether this presents itself as a one- or a two-state solution was the focus of much of our guests’ discussion, as was the role of the various actors on the world stage.
03 June 2013