Investigative Group

In Anti-Israel Boycott, Palestine Swears Off Israeli Hospitals — Leaving Its Civilians Untreated

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Luke Rosiak Investigative Reporter

The Palestinian Authority has barred its own people from receiving life-saving treatments at Israeli hospitals as part of a boycott aimed at harming Israel.

The PA is angry that Israel began deducting the amount the PA pays the families of terrorists to reward them for anti-Israel attacks from tax revenue that Israel 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.

And 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,” Palestinian journalist and former Princeton professor Daoud Kuttab wrote Wednesday in Al-Monitor.

“While the decision to divorce from Israeli hospitals makes political and economic sense, it will cause hardship and pain, especially in the short term,” he continued.

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 “We took the decision without a written agreement with either the Jordanian government or the hospitals in those countries.”

He added that Palestinians were 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.

A woman holds a sign which reads "Boycott Israel" in front of symbolic coffins while attending a demonstration supporting Palestine, in Berlin August 1, 2014. Israel launched its Gaza offensive on July 8 in response to a surge of rocket attacks by Gaza's dominant Hamas Islamists. Hamas said that Palestinians would continue confronting Israel until its blockade on Gaza was lifted. REUTERS/Steffi Loos (GERMANY - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - GM1EA8206QF02

A woman holds a sign which reads “Boycott Israel” in front of symbolic coffins. REUTERS/Steffi Loos

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. (RELATED: Arab TV Network In US Denied Holocaust, Teamed Up With A KKK Member To Blame 9/11 On Jews)

In the U.S., Democrats, led by figures such as Ilhan Omar, have increasingly gotten on board with the “BDS” movement, which stands for Boycotting, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.

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