Jan. 3, 2019
- Guardian Falsely Blames Israel for Shortages of Medicine in Gaza – Adam Levick
A Dec. 31 Guardian article suggests that Israel is largely to blame for the shortage of vital medicines in Gaza that is putting the lives of countless Palestinians at risk. But this is a lie. The import of antibiotics, and almost all other important medicines, is not in any way restricted by Israel.
It’s actually the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority – and not Israel – that’s responsible for the purchase of medicines for Gaza. But as part of the sanctions it imposed on Hamas in 2017, the PA often fails to send vital drugs to Gaza. The PA-imposed sanctions also includes a major reduction in Gaza’s overall healthcare budget, and a frequent refusal to issue permits to Gaza patients to receive medical treatment in Israel, the West Bank and Arab countries.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that “the escalation in internal Palestinian divisions in March 2017 led to a decline in deliveries from the West Bank and the gradual rise in the percentage of essential medicines at zero stock.”
The article also fails to note Hamas uses precious resources (including millions in international aid) for rockets, attack tunnels and other military projects, instead of on drugs and other medical-related equipment its citizens desperately need. The health system in Gaza has been worn down not “by years of blockade,” as the Guardian claims, but by years of Hamas rule. (UK Media Watch)