First Published: 2017-08-09

WHO says Palestinian Authority not treating sick Gazans
Financial support for Gazans seeking medical care slashed says WHO, despite Abbas denying allegations it is seen as latest attempt by Palestinian president to squeeze Hamas-run enclave.
Middle East Online

Poverty is widespread in the enclave

RAMALLAH - The Palestinian Authority has dramatically reduced financial support for Gazans seeking medical care outside the blockaded Gaza Strip, WHO figures showed Wednesday, as president Mahmud Abbas seeks to squeeze the Hamas-run enclave.

The number of financial approvals from June, the most recent number available, was 80 percent lower than the monthly average for 2016, the World Health Organization said in a statement.

Just 477 Gazans were given financial approval to travel for treatment during the month, down from 1,883 in June the previous year.

The Palestinian Authority has officially denied any change in policy, but Abbas has been seeking to squeeze Gaza's rulers Hamas through a series of measures including reducing electricity payments.

"We will continue the gradual stopping of financial allocations to the Gaza Strip until Hamas commits to reconciliation," he said at the weekend.

In a statement, health ministry official in Gaza Medhat Muhesan condemned the "punitive measures".

"We need international organisations to pressure Abbas's government to stop the punitive measures against Gaza," he said.

Hamas seized Gaza from Abbas's Fatah party in 2007 and the two have been at loggerheads since.

Gazans seeking medical care outside of the strip must first apply to the Palestinian Authority for permission and financial aid, before seeking Israeli permits.

Poverty is widespread in the enclave, with unemployment at some 42 percent, while advanced medical equipment is lacking.

Last month, the United Nations's top humanitarian official in the Palestinian territories warned politicising medical care was unacceptable.

"The Palestinian Authority has been taking certain measures to at least slow access to proper health care," Robert Piper said.

"These sorts of measures for us are not acceptable."

 

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS

Isolated US defiant at UN Security Council

Putin to visit Turkey for talks on Jerusalem, Syria

Protests sweep Muslim world over Jerusalem

US urges Saudi to show caution in regional disputes

Thousands march in Istanbul to protest US Jerusalem move

Bahrain Shiite leader undergoes surgery

Malaysians, Indonesians protest US move on Jerusalem

EU, Jordan voice backing for Palestinian state

Clashes in West Bank over US Jerusalem move

Macron appeals for calm over US Jerusalem embassy move

World leaders to 're-legitimise' Lebanon PM at Paris talks

Iraq forces launch new push against IS desert holdouts

Iran cleric urges new intifada against 'occupying regime'

Heavy Israeli deployment ahead of Friday prayers

Saudi crown prince ‘bought’ $450 mn Da Vinci

Trump Jerusalem ploy sparks Palestinian protests

States pledge action, condemn Libya slavery

UN says Syrian males caught in ‘vicious cycle’ of sex abuse

Jerusalem move awkward for Arab allies of US

Niger repatriates nationals from Libya

Russia says mission to defeat IS in Syria ‘accomplished’

Jerusalem recognition brings little change and big risks

Qatar agrees to buy fighter jets from France amid Gulf crisis

Iraqi militia threatens US forces over Jerusalem provocation

Qatar wants to resolve Guft rift, but not at expense of dignity

World condemns Trump Jerusalem announcement

UAE ‘disappointed’ at inclusion in EU tax haven blacklist

Huthi rebels mount show of force in Sanaa

Syrian opposition pressured into accepting Assad

Yemen government forces retake Red Sea town