As the humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip continues to raise alarms, reports emerged Monday that the occupied West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) has been preventing Palestinians in the coastal enclave from leaving the territory for medical treatment.
Palestinians in Gaza provided testimonies to Israeli daily Haaretz reporting “unexplained delays” in receiving permits from the PA for medical treatment in Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank.
Data provided to Haaretz from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHRI) added to claims that the PA has halted its assistance to sick patients in Gaza. According to the data, the PA has delayed and dramatically reduced its issuance of payment vouchers to more than 1,600 Palestinians in Gaza necessitating medical treatment, some of whom must exit the territory to receive the treatment.
9 deaths of Palestinian patients in Gaza since the beginning of 2017 due to the stoppage of referrals because of the blockade on #Gaza Strip
— Farah Baker (@Farah_Gazan) June 27, 2017
More than 90 percent of patients in Gaza who requested such vouchers over the past month did not received a reply from the PA, while only 10 of the some 120 daily requests submitted to the PA have been getting approved.
Haaretz pointed out that the number represents a dramatic reduction in the PA’s issuance of vouchers to patients in Gaza. In April, the number of vouchers issued dropped below 2,000, whereas 2016 saw an average of 2,041 vouchers issued each month. In May, the number of vouchers issued plunged to just a few dozen.
(Maan, PC, Social Media)