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PA lies to its own people to justify cutting health care, By Maurice Hirsch, Adv. and Itamar Marcus (PMW)

By   /   July 8, 2019  /   No Comments

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July 8, 2019

  • PA cuts Palestinian medical treatment in Israeli hospitals to continue funding its “Pay for Slay” policy
  • Palestinian children are main victims of the PA’s self-imposed cuts

As part of its self-inflicted financial crisis, in March 2019 the Palestinian Authority decided that Palestinians would no longer be referred to Israeli hospitals. At the time, the PA justified this by claiming it was costing the PA $100 million a year. PMW has just learned that this figure is false and that the PA was in fact lying to its own people by exaggerating the cost of treatment to justify the prohibition.

When the decision was announced, PA Ministry of Health Spokesman Osama Al-Najjar explained:

“This decision was made in response to the deduction of sums [Israel transfers] from the taxes that [Israel] collects each month for the Palestinian coffers. He added that the cost of the referrals to the Israeli hospitals is $100 million a year.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 27, 2019]

However, comprehensive statistics provided to Palestinian Media Watch by Israel’s Ministry of Finance in response to a freedom of information request prove that the PA leadership are once again not telling their people the truth.

From 2010 – 2018, the years covered by the statistics, the cost of treating the Palestinians in Israeli hospitals never reached $100 million. In the nine years covered by the statistics, the PA expenditure on treatment for Palestinians in Israeli hospitals averaged $62 million year, with the highest expenditure ($83 million) registered in 2014, the year of the last Gaza war.

While inflating the cost of the medical treatment for Palestinians in Israeli hospitals as a pretext to justify its decision to penalize the Palestinians in need of medical treatment, the PA simultaneously raised its expenditure on the payment of salaries to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners, by 11.8%.

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