Sept. 21, 2016
- Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials have turned medical care into a business that earns them hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. This corruption has enabled top officials in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to embezzle millions of shekels from the PA budget.
- In 2013, the PA spent more than half a billion shekels covering medical bills of Palestinians who were referred to hospitals outside the Palestinian territories. However, no one seems to know exactly how the money was spent and whether all those who received the referrals were indeed in need of medical treatment. In one case, it appeared that 113 Palestinian patients had been admitted to Israeli hospitals at the cost of 3 million shekels, while there is no documentation of any of these cases. Even the identities of the patients remain unknown.
- Hajer Harb, a courageous Palestinian journalist from the Gaza Strip, says she is now facing charges of “slander” for exposing the corruption. She has been repeatedly interrogated by Hamas. The PA regime, for its part, is not too happy with exposure about the scandal.
- Gaza’s hospitals would be rather better equipped if Hamas used its money to build medical centers instead of tunnels for smuggling weapons from Egypt to attack Israel.