(July 9, 2019 / PMW) Back in March, the Palestinian Authority announced that Palestinians would no longer be referred to hospitals in Israel for treatment. At the time, the P.A. justified the move with the claim that it would save some $100 million annually. The P.A. is in the midst of a severe financial crisis over its refusal to accept tax revenues collected for it by Israel.
However, according to Israeli NGO Palestinian Media Watch, figures provided by Israel’s Finance Ministry in response to a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request prove that the P.A. greatly exaggerated the cost of the treatments.
According to the figures, from 2010 to 2018, P.A. expenditures on treatment for Palestinians in Israeli hospitals averaged $62 million annually, with the highest expenditure ($83 million) occurring in 2014, the year of the last Gaza war.
While the P.A. was inflating the cost of the medical treatment for Palestinians in Israeli hospitals to justify cutbacks, it raised payments its payments to terrorist in Israeli jails, released prisoners and the families of dead terrorists by 11.8 percent, according to PMW.
The last comprehensive study regarding the treatment of Palestinians in Israeli hospitals was released by Israel’s Knesset in 2017.
The report, which covered a five-year period ending in 2015, showed that in those years 42,314 Palestinians received medical treatment in Israeli hospitals. A little more than half of those hospitalized were children, according to the report, most of whom were being treated for cancer and cancer-related illness.
The P.A.’s injunction on Palestinians receiving medical care in Israel does not apply to its senior leaders.