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PA to Transfer Patients to Jordan, Egypt Instead of Israel

PA to Transfer Patients to Jordan, Egypt Instead of Israel

Tuesday, 23 April, 2019 - 07:45
A woman carries her seven-month-old daughter at Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem on February 20, 2017. (AFP/AHMAD GHARABLI)
Ramallah - Asharq Al-Awsat
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ashtiyeh said his government has begun studying the transfer of Palestinian patients to Arab countries.
 
Speaking at the beginning of a Cabinet session on Monday, the new Palestinian prime minister said that delegations had been sent to Egypt and Jordan to study the transfer of patients to the Arab countries.
 
Presently, a certain number of patients are transferred to Arab countries, but the larger transfers are made to Israel. Israeli hospitals attract the biggest number of patients from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with an annual bill of up to $100 million.
 
Last month, however, the PA decided to stop sending patients to Israel as part of a series of other decisions in response to Israel’s deduction of Palestinian tax revenues.
 
The Palestinian decision has caused concern in Israel. Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said there was great concern about a sharp decline in profits of Israeli hospitals as a result of the Palestinian boycott.
 
In February, Israel started to cut $138 million in Palestinian tax money, equivalent to the payments made by the Authority to families of fighters and prisoners every month in 2019. These funds constituted the largest income for the Authority.
 
“If this crisis is not resolved, the funding gap will increase from $400 million in 2018 to more than $1 billion in 2019," the World Bank said.
 
France has rejected the Israeli position and demanded that Tel Aviv pay back the money. Ashtiyeh expressed his appreciation to the “French position that criticized Israel’s piracy of Palestinian tax funds.”

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