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Israel's Aid to Gaza: 'No PA Arab Denied Medical Care'

No PA Arab in Gaza has been denied medical care in Israel, officials say – but if the PA prevents access, there is nothing Israel can do.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 5/26/2010, 3:28 PM / Last Update: 5/26/2010, 3:54 PM

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No Palestinian Authority Arab has been denied medical care in Israel, according to government officials, who point out that the real issue has to do with the issue of permits from the PA government.

“If the Hamas regime does not grant permits for medical care, the Israeli government can do nothing to help the patient,” the Foreign Ministry pointed out in a report this week. “Israel will facilitate all cases of medical treatments from Gaza, unless the patient is a known perpetrator of terrorism.”

It is important to note that PA terrorists have exploited medical care arrangements to carry out terrorist attacks more than 20 times since 2005.

Last year, 10,544 patients and their companions left Gaza to access medical care in Israel, and there were 382 emergency evacuations from Gaza for medical purposes.

During the same 12-month period, some 4,883 tons of medical equipment and medicine were delivered to the region, as well as medical supplies for the disabled such as wheelchairs, crutches and first aid kits. Also shipped to the region's hospitals and clinics last year were heart monitors, baby feeding tubes, dental equipment, medical books, ambulance emergency equipment, artificial limbs and infant sleeping bags.

In the first quarter of 2010, 152 trucks of medical supplies and equipment made their way into Gaza. In an average week this month, some 37 truckloads of hygiene products were shipped to the region through the crossings. A new CT scan machine was recently delivered to Gaza as well.

Israel maintains a regular corridor for the transfer of medical patients out of Gaza, and about 200 medical staff members pass through the Erez Crossing terminal every month. “Israel also helps coordinate the transfer of Jordanian doctors into Gaza,” noted the Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Moreover, the Hadassah medical organization in Jerusalem donates $3 million in aid each year to treat Palestinian Authority Arabs in Israel. Following the outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu, three Israeli hospitals were assigned to treat cases in Gaza, the Foreign Ministry said, and 44,500 immunization doses were delivered to the region.