The Palestinian Authority will prevent its own people from receiving life-saving treatments at Israeli hospitals as part of a boycott aimed at harming Israel.
The PA, which pays the families of terrorists to reward them for anti-Israel attacks, is angry that Israel started deducting that money from tax revenue that it pays the PA.
Even pro-Palestinian observers turned their heads at the move, which has sick and vulnerable Palestinians serving as pawns in a game of politics.
Weeks after the policy went into effect, the PA exempted one of its own politicians from the policy, allowing him to receive treatment at one of Israel’s well-regarded hospitals.
“There is no doubt that vulnerable Palestinians, especially children, are caught in a political struggle they have nothing to do with. While the decision to divorce from Israeli hospitals makes political and economic sense, it will cause hardship and pain, especially in the short term,” Palestinian journalist and former Princeton professor Daoud Kuttab wrote Wednesday in Al-Monitor.
The PA made the move despite not having alternate accommodations for the sick lined up.
Osama al-Najjar, spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health, told Al-Monitor that “We took the decision without a written agreement with either the Jordanian government or the hospitals in those countries,” but that Palestinians had been receiving care in Jordan and other nearby locales without a formal agreement, or in Palestinian-run hospitals.
As Kuttab recounted the origins of the dispute, “The Palestinian government collects $138 million annually in taxes collected by Israel,” but “an Israeli decision was made to deduct the amount of money the Palestinian government pays to families of prisoners and martyrs from the monthly monies due to the Palestinian government.”
PA, angry at the move, refused to accept any money at all.
The Jewish News Syndicate reported that senior Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub was nonetheless admitted to Israel’s Ichilov/Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center soon after then policy began applying to common Palestinians.
A critic with an Israeli nonprofit, Nan Jacques Zilberdik, told JNS: “Not only do ordinary Palestinians have to forgo medical care in Israel because the P.A. is adamant about paying high salaries to terrorists, Palestinians also have to witness one of their own leaders getting treatment in a Israeli hospital that for them is out of bounds.
“Someone should give Rajoub a copy of Orwell’s Animal Farm.”
Rajoub is receiving medical care in an Israeli facility despite going on TV and calling Palestinians who killed Israelis “heroes,” JNS said.
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