UN group calls for probe into alleged Israeli health violations; Canada, U.S. among countries opposed to motion

(JTA) – The World Health Organization (WHO) called for an investigation into alleged “mental, physical and environmental health” abuses by Israel.

Co-sponsored by the Arab Group of States and the Palestinians, the motion commissions a delegation to investigate and report on “the health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory” and in “the occupied Syrian Golan,” and to put it on the agenda at next year’s meeting, The Times of Israel reported.

The reports are to focus on “the impact of prolonged occupation and human rights violations on mental, physical and environmental health.”

Britain, France and Germany were among the 107 countries that voted for the “field assessment” at the annual meeting Tuesday of the WHO, a United Nations agency tasked with tackling international health crises.

According to the pro-Israel watchdog UN Watch, none of the other 23 items on the WHO’s agenda addressed a specific country. Agenda item 19 – “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan” – called for a focus on the impact of Israel’s “prolonged occupation and human rights violations.”

“The UN reached new heights of absurdity today by enacting a resolution which accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, even as in reality Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks,” said UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer.

The United States, Canada and Australia were among the eight nations that opposed the motion.

Israeli politician Yair Lapid sent a letter to WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan condemning the vote.

“This orchestrated campaign against the sole Jewish state in the world is a modern manifestation of anti-Semitism,” Lapid wrote in the letter.

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