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June 28, 2022 10:21 am
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The PA’s Priorities: Terrorist Prisoners Rather Than Cancer Patients

avatar by Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Opinion

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh greets European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Ramallah on June 14, 2022. Photo: Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

“The great shortage in aid to the Palestinian health sector has led to a severe shortage in medicine, and especially medicine for cancer patients,” Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Health Mai Al-Kaila stated recently at a meeting with supporters and donors to the Palestinian health sector.

Al-Kaila blamed Israel and international donors for this, stating that the situation was “a result of the financial siege that the occupation is attempting to impose on Palestine and the shortage in international aid.”

But is that really true?

No, it isn’t.

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Is there a part of the PA budget that could have been allocated to pay for medicine for cancer patients and other things needed in the PA health sector?

Yes, there is.

The so-called “financial siege” imposed by Israel on the PA refers to Israel’s Anti “Pay-for-Slay” law, whereby Israel deducts a sum equal to the amount of money the PA spends on salaries to terrorists from the taxes Israel collects on behalf of the PA. Likewise, some international donors have frozen their funding to the PA because of this PA policy of rewarding terrorists who have attacked, murdered, and wounded Israeli civilians.

Israel and these foreign donors have demanded the PA cease reward and incentivizing terror with generous salaries, in order to resume the tax transfer and the funding.

Other donors, including the EU, have suspended funding to the PA due to the problematic content in PA schoolbooks, demanding that the PA edit out antisemitic, violent, and hateful content before they resume funding.

So if the PA and Minister of Health Al-Kaila really did prioritize “treatments to citizens,” all they have to do is cancel the terror payments. According to Palestinian Media Watch’s estimates, in 2021 alone, the PA squandered no less than 841 million shekels ($270.75 million) paying terror rewards.

But the PA is not putting its law-abiding citizens first — not even the sick ones among them, and not even kids with cancer as PMW documented previously in 2019, when the PA decided to stop sending its citizens to Israeli hospitals because Israel refused to transfer the money the PA spent on salaries to terrorists.

Luckily for sick Palestinians, the EU has just decided to turn a blind eye to the continued PA terror salaries and the contents of the textbooks, and announced that “the European Commission has approved a new bilateral allocation to Palestine worth €224.8 million.“ Some of the funds are allocated specifically to “referrals to the East Jerusalem Hospitals” and “purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.”

Once again, paying terrorists to murder Jews wins the day.

The author is a senior analyst at Palestinian Media Watch, where a version of this article first appeared.

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