The Palestinian Authority (PA) has dramatically reduced its financial aid to Gazans seeking medical care outside of the Gaza Strip, according to the World Health Organization.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of financial approvals in June 2017 for Gazans in need of medical care outside of the Hamas-controlled territory was 80 percent lower than the monthly average for 2016. Some 477 Gazans received financial approval for treatment in June, down from 1,883 in June 2016.
The Palestinian Authority has denied any changes to its medical policy in Gaza despite efforts by PA President Mahmoud Abbas to squeeze Hamas and force the Palestinian terror group to allow the Fatah-run PA back into the territory. “We will continue the gradual stopping of financial allocations to the Gaza Strip until Hamas commits to reconciliation,” Abbas said last weekend, AFP reported.
Over the last few months the PA has also significantly reduced its payments for salaries of its workers in Gaza as well as cut back on electricity payments, which has led to numerous blackouts in the coastal territory. Any Gazans seeking medical care outside of the territory must first apply for permission from the PA before seeking Israeli permits for care.
Statistics related to medical aid for Gazans in 2017 are particularly disturbing in light of a report last year by Khaled Abu Toameh for the Gatestone Institute. Abu Toameh reported that, “Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials have turned medical care into a business that earns them hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. This corruption has enabled top officials in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to embezzle millions of shekels from the PA budget.”
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