PA accuses Hamas of stealing donated medicines

West Bank health spokesman says Hamas had been stealing or hiding medicine, creating shortage of supplies for hospitals, clinics in Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday accused Hamas of stealing medicine that had been donated to the Palestinians by the international community.
Omar al-Nasr, a spokesman for the PA Ministry of Health in the West Bank, said that Hamas had been stealing or hiding the medicine, creating a shortage of supplies for hospitals and clinics in the Gaza Strip.
He added that Hamas was supposed to be providing the residents of the Gaza Strip with free medicine in accordance with PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision.
The spokesman said that a 12-ton shipment of medicine was recently sent to the Gaza Strip by the Egyptians, but most of its content had gone missing.
Hamas responded by accusing the PA of refusing to send medicine to the Gaza Strip.
Basem Naim, the Hamas Minister of Health, said that hospitals in the Gaza Strip were lacking in many important types of medicine, endangering the lives of thousands of patients.
“We are lacking even in simple drugs,” he said. “The situation is catastrophic.”
Naim said that most of the medical aid to the Palestinians was being handed over to the “illegitimate” government in the West Bank, which he said was depriving the Gaza Strip of most of the badly-needed drugs.
The Hamas minister said that the PA in the West Bank was seeking to “blackmail” the residents of the Gaza Strip because of the dispute between Fatah and Hamas.