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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hamas jeopardizing Gazans, again

The PCHR reports:
On the afternoon of 22 March 2009, the Ministry of Health in Gaza took control of the Department of External Medical Treatment. Officials from the Gaza Ministry of Health demanded that the director of the Department relinquish control of all offices in the Gaza Strip. The Director, Dr. Bassam al-Badri, had been appointed by the Government in Ramallah with the approval of the Gaza Government. Overall authority for the Department was placed in the hands of Dr. Basem Na’im, the Gaza Minister of Health. In the aftermath of the takeover – which included the seizure of the Department’s stamps – approximately 30 departmental employees left their offices.
This department was still being run by the PA, and it coordinated with Israel the paperwork allowing sick Gazans to travel through the Erez crossing to get treatment in Israel. About a hundred patients travel through Erez every week.

Israel obviously has no formal relations with Hamas, so when Hamas took over this department it did so with the knowledge that lives will be jeopardized. As PCHR mentions:
At the time of the takeover there were dozens of civilian patients waiting in the offices of the Department. They were informed that the Gaza Ministry of Health had taken control of the department in Gaza, and that all applications for medical treatment abroad should be coordinated with the Gaza Ministry. The patients expressed their complaints, and the fear that this development would negatively impact on their applications, risking their lives.
Hamas is acting consistently - they want Gazans to die in ways so that Israel can be blamed for their deaths. Hundreds of patients traveling to Israel to get care does not jive with Hamas' attempts at demonizing Israel, so Hamas wants to stop that - the same way they prevented any of the injured in Gaza from going to an Israeli field hospital and the same way they refused Israel's offers to send blood to Gaza.

Hamas has made the decision long ago that it is preferable to have Gazans die than to see Israel get any kudos for helping Arabs live.

The question is, why is this simple fact not being mentioned by people who pretend to care about Palestinian Arabs?