Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) describes itself as “a British charity dedicated to the health and humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people.” Established in 1984, MAP currently operates in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Lebanon.
Claiming to be “non-political and non-partisan,” MAP receives some 39 percent of its annual budget from the European Union. Other funders include the British government’s Department for International Development, EuropeAid, the European Community Humanitarian Office, and the Linbury Trust.
MAP ascribes most of the political, economic, and health-related problems affecting Palestinians to Israel’s allegedly brutal and repressive rule over the “Occupied Territories.” In July 2006, after Israel responded militarily to the kidnappings of three Israeli soldiers by the Gaza-based organization Hamas and the Lebanon-based group Hezbollah, MAP accused Israel of having responded with “excessive and disproportionate force.” MAP’s partner organizations include the highly politicized, anti-Israel NGOs Ard et-Aftal, Ard el-Insan, and the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees.
MAP’s program areas include the following:
Environmental Health: This program is directed toward “Palestinians living in some of the most over-crowded places in the world. … In some areas, the lack of water and sanitation systems is a result of appalling, over-crowded living conditions. In other areas, water and sanitation systems have been destroyed by military activity.”
Public Health Awareness: “Sexual and reproductive health, accident prevention and the health implications of early marriage are among the areas where MAP is currently working to increase public health awareness.”
Mobile Clinics: “The … impediments of checkpoints, the [anti-terrorism] Wall, settler-only roads and frequent closures mean that access to health care remains elusive for many. For this reason, MAP has given its support to mobile clinics … that now deliver care to some of the West Bank’s most needy Palestinian communities.”
Training: “There are still very significant unmet primary health care needs in Lebanon, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and among Bedouin communities inside Israel. Particularly disadvantaged communities can be found in both rural and acutely stressed urban areas due to a combination of factors that include poverty, exclusion, and lack of access.”
Counseling: “Many Palestinian children have been exposed to extreme violence, killings, bereavement, displacement and house destruction. Problems such as sleep disorders, nervousness, lack of appetite, frustration and abnormal thoughts of death are common.”
Disability: “There exist high levels of disability in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, both congenital … and as a result of trauma. Disabled people tend to be marginalized by society and there are insufficient care facilities or trained staff, particularly in Gaza.”
Income Generation: “Poverty and unemployment are critical problems in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and within Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Restrictions on movement and the Wall in the West Bank cut many people off from their lands and jobs …”
Nutrition: “Food insecurity … is a very real issue for many Palestinian households. … The restrictions on movement imposed by the occupation contribute to unemployment and poverty in the OPT and have a direct bearing on nutritional standards.”
In 2009, MAP participated in producing a multi-NGO publication titled Failing Gaza: No Rebuilding, No Recovery, No More Excuses. This booklet falsely accused Israel of “occupying” Gaza and subjecting the Palestinian people to an “illegal and inhumane blockade” that amounted to “collective punishment.” It also stated that Operation Cast Lead—a defensive military operation in which Israel had targeted Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorists who were firing rockets and mortars at civilian communities in southern Israel—had “left a legacy of destruction and loss” in the now “shattered society” of Gaza. Other contributors to Failing Gaza included such groups as Amnesty International UK, Christian Aid, Mercy Corps, and Oxfam International.