May 23, 2017
Instead of Paying Electricity and Medical Bills, the PA and Hamas Choose to Fund Terror – Evelyn Gordon (Commentary)
- The PA is getting billions of dollars a year in foreign aid to fund humanitarian needs in both the West Bank and Gaza. But both Palestinian governments have chosen to deprive their people of basic necessities – including electricity and medical care – to support anti-Israel terror.
- Earlier this month, the Arab Augusta Victoria hospital in Jerusalem announced it would no longer accept patients from either the West Bank or Gaza because the PA owes it $42 million and it can no longer afford to buy medicines. Medicines are in similarly short supply in Gaza because the PA stopped paying for them.
- Gaza has also been suffering severe power shortages because neither the PA nor Hamas is willing to pay for fuel to run the local power plant. The only reason Gaza has enough power for even a few hours a day is that Israel has begun quietly picking up the tab for the electricity brought into Gaza from Israel. In other words, Israel cares more about Palestinians’ electricity needs than either the PA or Hamas.
- At the same time, both the PA and Hamas seem to have plenty of money for their top priority: incentivizing or directly funding anti-Israel terror. The PA spent $129 million last year paying salaries to convicted terrorists and another $175 million in stipends for families of terrorists killed while trying attack Israelis. Similarly, Hamas spends $100 million a year on building its capacity to attack Israel by making rockets and digging cross-border attack tunnels.
- So the PA and Hamas simply consider paying terrorists and building the capacity to attack Israel a higher priority than paying for medical care or electricity for their people.