Al-Haq reminds Pfizer of its international obligations, calls for support for non-discrimination

PNN/ Ramallah/

On 14 January 2021, Al-Haq sent a letter to Pfizer expressing concern at Israel’s racially discriminatory exclusion of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip from its vaccination efforts and reminding the company of its international obligations under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In particular, Al-Haq noted Pfizer’s obligation to ensure that the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine was not used in a way which would breach international human rights or humanitarian law.

The exclusion of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the inclusion of illegal Israeli settlers, in Israel’s vaccination program is not only a component of the existing institutionalised regime of racial domination and oppression over the Palestinian people as a whole but serves to strengthen and further entrench the discriminatory situation on the ground.

Al-Haq requested that Pfizer provide information as to whether it sought assurances from Israel that the Pfier-BioNtech vaccine would be used in accordance with international legal standards, including those under international human rights and humanitarian law, and called on the company to issue a public statement in support of the principle of non-discrimination in public health, stressing that all peoples under Israel’s effective control must have their inalienable right to health respected and vindicated.