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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gaza hospital, owed millions by the PA, closes maternity ward

From Ma'an:
A hospital in the northern Gaza Strip warned Wednesday that it was forced to shut down its maternity ward over an insurance dispute with the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry, a statement read.

The Al-Awda Hospital in the Jabaliya area north of Gaza City said the move placed approximately 7,000 pregnant women with insurance at risk. The hospital said the women all currently receive treatment at the hospital on a yearly basis.

The statement said the closure was the result of "the PA Ministry of Health's ignorance toward accumulating debt, which has reached $2 million. This money is considered a significant part of the operational budget of the hospital, representing 40 percent of its monthly income."

With the millions owning the hospital in claimed public health insurance dollars, the hospital said it would no longer be able to operate if they were not reimbursed.
Notice that the infrastructure of Gaza is still largely financed by the PA, although they have zero political influence there. Hamas is free to pour all its Iranian and Syrian money into weapons and building a terror infrastructure, without any concern about actually taking responsibility for the citizens of the strip.

Meanwhile, some 60% of the PA budget is going to indirectly propping up Hamas' terror statelet. The hospital in this case doesn't even consider going to Hamas for the money to keep it going.

The PA and the Western world that funds it are somehow hoping that by continuing to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into Gaza, it will maintain some sort of influence and the ability to dictate terms of a conciliation. This is a fantasy. The break between Fatah and Hamas is all but complete.

The only chance that the PA would have of gaining control of Gaza would be to cut off the funds that are helping Hamas rule. (This would also help solve the PA's own monetary woes.)

They won't dare do it because it would cause short-term harm to Gazans, yet that is the only way to get Hamas to even think about compromise. No Western politician would publicly advocate or endorse such a move and HRW and Amnesty would go nuts. However, if anyone wants to actually solve the problem of Hamastan, that is the only way (short of pressuring Egypt to annex the territory and naturalize the citizens, which would be ideal.)