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Senior Palestinian official being treated in Tel Aviv, despite boycott for ordinary Palestinians

The decision to prioritize salaries to terrorists over medical care for the general Palestinian population, thousands of whom were being treated in Israel annually, took effect on March 26.

Head of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub speaks during a press conference in Ramallah on June 6, 2018. Photo by Flash90.
Head of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub speaks during a press conference in Ramallah on June 6, 2018. Photo by Flash90.

According to recent Israeli media reports, senior Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub is undergoing treatment at Ichilov/Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, despite the P.A.’s recent decision to cancel all medical treatment in Israel for Palestinians.

Rajoub is secretary general of the Fatah Central Committee, president of the Palestinian Football Association and the Palestine Olympic Committee, and heads the PLO Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs.

The P.A. decided to end all medical care for Palestinians in Israel last month following Israel’s decision to deduct from the tax money it collects for the P.A. an amount equal to the sums the P.A. pays to imprisoned terrorists and the families of dead terrorists. The decision to prioritize salaries to terrorists over medical care for the general Palestinian population, thousands of whom were being treated in Israel annually, took effect on March 26. According to the official P.A. daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, P.A. Health Ministry Osama Al-Najjar announced that “the decision is political par excellence, and comes in response to Israel deducting sums from the money that it collects for us.”

Commenting on this latest example of P.A. double standards, senior analyst for Israeli NGO Palestinian Media Watch Nan Jacques Zilberdik said: “The favoritism of the P.A. is striking. Not only do ordinary Palestinians have to forgo medical care in Israel because the P.A. is adamant about paying high salaries to terrorists, Palestinians also have to witness one of their own leaders getting treatment in a Israeli hospital that for them is out of bounds. Someone should give Rajoub a copy of [George] Orwell’s Animal Farm.”

Rajoub has been among the most vocal of Palestinian leaders in supporting terrorism, and explicitly called to murder Israelis during the Palestinian terrorism wave of 2015-2016, the so-called “knife intifada,” which saw months of murderous Palestinian attacks, including stabbings, shootings and vehicular assaults. In repeated public statements on P.A. TV, Rajoub informed Palestinians that murderers of Israelis should be seen as Palestinian “heroes” and “crowns on the head of every Palestinian.”

Rajoub also stated that Fatah “blessed and encouraged” the murderers, and that he objected to suicide bombings on Tel Aviv buses only because the international community would be angry at those kind of killings. “We want to fight in such a way that the world and the international community will remain by our side,” he said. He explained that Palestinians should focus on killing soldiers or “settlers” because the international community doesn’t care about them.

Rajoub has also made it his key personal issue to be against “normalization” with Israel.

As chairman of the PLO Supreme Council for Youth and Sport Affairs, Rajoub has prohibited Palestinian athletes from engaging in any sports activities with Israelis. According to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, he recently he demanded that “the Arab and Islamic states cease every form of normalization with Israel in the field of sports” and “demanded” that the Spanish football club Atlético Madrid “not play against the racist club Beitar Jerusalem” because the match was to take place in what Rajoub referred to as “an occupied Palestinian area.”

In reality, the match was to take place in western Jerusalem.

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