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Friday, January 14, 2011

PA health ministry denies Hamas claims of medicine shortage

Hamas has been claiming a severe medicine shortage in Gaza, blaming the PA for not providing enough for the area.

Today, the PA health ministry released specific figures of the value of the drugs sent to Gaza in 2010, saying it took up 45%  of its budget for medicines. (Gaza's population is about half that of the West Bank.)

The ministry slammed Hamas' claims, saying it was a cover for Hamas crimes against doctors and medical institutions in Gaza.

The Palestine Press Agency notes an earlier story where the medicines that are meant to be freely available to patients have been diverted to pharmacies where patients are forced to buy them - even though they are labeled as gifts for Gazans.

Whether Hamas is involved in this black market is not explicitly stated but it is assumed to be.