Greenblatt: PA could finance its hospitals if it stopped paying terrorists

May 17, 2019 03:32
2 minute read.
Greenblatt: PA could finance its hospitals if it stopped paying terrorists

Special Representative for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, toured Ziv Hospital in Tzfat where he met administrators, health care professionals and Syrian patients, August 29, 2017.. (photo credit: DAVID AZAGURY, US EMBASSY TEL AVIV)


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US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt has tweeted that the Palestinian Authority would be able to better finance medical care for its people if it stopped funding terrorists.

“The PA incurred bills @ the hospital & assumed someone else would pay. We want those patients to receive the best care -the PA could easily pay its own bills to the hospital by ending incentive payments to terrorists/their families & use the $ to care for their ppl,” the US envoy tweeted overnight Thursday.

Greenblatt was responding to a tweet by Channel 13 reporter Barak Ravid, who asked Greenblatt, “Why did the US stop funding Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem that are the only place in Palestine that can give treatment to cancer patients?”
The Jerusalem Post reported in February, that according to numbers released by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories Unit (COGAT), more than 20,000 permits were granted to Palestinians living in West Bank to enter Israel and receive treatment or support a patient who was receiving treatment in the Jewish state in 2018.

That number was up by nearly 3,000 from the year before.

The February report also noted that medical coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has been ongoing since 1995 and continues to increase each year, despite ebbs and flows on the security and diplomatic fronts.

However, in March, the Palestinian Authority announced it would stop providing its citizens with medical treatment in Israel, according to a report published by the Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.

“This decision was made in response to the deduction of sums [Israel transfers] from the taxes that [Israel] collects each month for the Palestinian coffers,” said PA Ministry of Health Spokesman Osama Al-Najjar in an article in the Palestinian daily, which was translated and disseminated by Palestinian Media Watch.

The cessation of services went into effect on March 26.

In February 2019, Israel implemented the “Pay-for-Slay” Law that instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of “martyrs” from the tax money it collects for the PA. The law was passed in July 2018 and approved for implementation by Israel’s security cabinet this year. In 2019, the cabinet is withholding approximately $138 million.

According to Al-Najjar, the cost of the referrals to the Israeli hospitals is $100 million a year.

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