NABLUS, Saturday, November 24, 2018 (WAFA) – The Palestinian government has spent $15.5 billion on the Gaza Strip since 2007, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said on Saturday.
Speaking at the inauguration of a new emergency ward at Rafidya Hospital and an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the National Hospital in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Hamdallah said that the Palestinian government has done its best to prevent the collapse of the health system in the besieged Gaza Strip.
“We have worked to develop and improve the health care sector and prevented its collapse in the Gaza Strip,” he said. “We dispatched convoys of medicines and medical supplies there and the government continues to pay for transfers to get medical treatment in hospitals outside (of Gaza).”
He said that the government spends $96 million a month on the Gaza Strip and that since 2007, when Hamas took over control of Gaza in a coup against the Palestinian Authority, and until September of this year, the government had spent at total of $15.5 million on Gaza while revenues from Gaza were a mere $5 to $6 million.
He expressed hope that current efforts led by Egypt to reconcile the Palestinians and end the division that started in 2007 will succeed and bring national unity.
The Prime Minister also said his government made sure that Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem continue to function normally even after the United States has decided to stop its contribution to these hospitals as a punishment to Palestinians for not supporting its schemes for a settlement in the area.
“We have paid $12.5 million as a grant to cover the deficit that resulted from the halt in American funding and the rest will be paid in the coming months,” he said.
According to health ministry figures, almost 90 percent of the government medical transfers from Gaza are to the Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem.