A medical warehouse in Gaza.
(photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)
For the first time in eight months, the PA sent a major shipment of government- subsidized medications to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.
Many Gazans rely on such medicines.
“Twenty-two trucks of medications were dispatched to Gaza,” Palestinian Authority Health Ministry spokesman Osama al-Najjar told The Jerusalem Post
. “This is our first major shipment of medications since February.”
The PA’s last major shipment of medicine to Gaza, which included 27 trucks, took place on February 28.
According to Najjar, since February, the PA has sent only two trucks of medicine on three separate occasions – in March, May and July.
A diplomatic source, familiar with the health sector in Gaza, told the Post
that the small territory has been suffering from major shortages of medications.
“Gaza has been dealing with shortages in a number of medications,” he said. “This shipment is very important and will lessen the shortages.”
According to the source, the total value of the medicines sent to Gaza on Wednesday is $2.2 million.
It is not clear what motivated the PA to resume its major shipments of medicine to Gaza.
However, another diplomatic source told the Post in June that the PA stopped its shipments of medicine to Gaza as a part of President Mahmoud Abbas’s punitive measures against Hamas’s leadership in the territory.
Starting in April, Abbas cut several PA budgets allocated to Gaza, to pressure Hamas to give up control of the territory.
More recently, in October, Abbas’s party, Fatah, and Hamas agreed to restore the PA’s governing authority in the Strip.
Neither Najjar nor the first diplomatic source explained why the PA resumed its major shipments of medicine to Gaza on Wednesday.