Occupied Palestinian Territory: Violence Against Health Care in Conflict 2021 [EN/AR]


On May 11, 2021 the Hala Al Shwa Primary Health Care Center in the oPt, which provided COVID-19 testing and vaccinations in north Gaza, was destroyed during an Israeli air strike. On June 25 a paramedic was injured by rubber-coated rounds fired by Israeli forces while providing aid to people wounded during protests against the construction of settlements in Qalqilya governorate, West Bank.


The Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition (SHCC) identified 169 incidents of violence against or obstruction of health care in the oPt in 2021, which was a marked increase from 2020, when 61 incidents were documented. In these 169 incidents 61 health workers were injured, 30 health facilities were damaged or destroyed, and patients’ access to health care was obstructed at least 32 times.

As well as direct attacks on health care, including violence perpetrated by Israeli forces and settlers, Palestinian health workers and patients had to navigate a system of administrative and geographic barriers, including a restrictive permit regime and a network of 593 obstacles to their movement in the course of their duties, including checkpoints and road closures.

This factsheet is based on the dataset 2021 SHCC oPt Health Data, which is available for download on the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX).

The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights reported that 50 health centers had been partially damaged or destroyed, but did not provide details on the locations and specific circumstances, therefore these incidents could not be included here because they could not be cross-checked to prevent double counting.