Palestinian Authority Says Hamas Stole Medicine Intended for the Sick
A spokesman of the Palestinian Ministry of Health on Sunday accused ministry officials in the Gaza Strip of stealing medicines and supplies sent to the coastal enclave.
At a news conference in Ramallah, Osama al-Najjar said that the Ministry of Health had shipped large quantities of medicines and medical equipment to the Strip during the last Israeli military offensive.
He said the ministry “didn’t know where those medicines were distributed and who benefited from them.”
“After investigations, we have been informed that influential ministry officials in Gaza steal these medicines and equipment, and that the medicines do not go to hospitals and the health sector in the Gaza Strip which badly need them.”
Al-Najjar also accused the Hamas movement of inventing “a new department at the Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing called the general administration of custom tax security.”
This department, he said, “forcibly collects 2.5 percent custom tax on everything that enters Gaza, including medicines and medical equipment.”
Hamas and the Fatah-led PLO formed a unity government that came into power in June, but have since traded accusations about payment of salaries, attacks on the property of Fatah officials in Gaza, and a lack of commitment to Palestinians in the Strip.