Ramallah blamed for halting treatment of Gaza patients


Palestine's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) blamed Thursday the Ramallah-based government for suspending the transfer of patients from Gaza Strip for treatment abroad.

The accusation came in a statement in which the PFLP confirmed that halting the transfer of patients for getting treatment outside the 10-year-besieged strip "led in recent days to the martyrdom of many sick children," while hundreds of patients suffered from serious medical conditions, and needed treatment abroad due to the lack of capabilities inside the Gaza Strip.

The Front also called for the cessation of what it called "collective punishment policies against our people in the Gaza Strip, represented in a package of measures that affected vital sectors in Gaza, foremost of which is the health sector".

The statement went on to say that, these measures included in addition to halting transfer of patients abroad, stopping the supply of medicine and medical equipment to the hospitals in Gaza; the continuation of the electricity crisis, and the exacerbation of the social problems caused by both the siege and the recent decisions of the Ramallah-based government.

The Front also slammed international organizations for "their silence and complicity" in the continuation of the Israeli siege of Gaza.

According to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Authority (PA)-led government in Ramallah has stopped the transfer of patients from Gaza for treatment abroad, leading to the deaths of four children this week.

In turn, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Ministry of Health denied that the government had stopped transferring patients for treatment abroad, saying in a statement that "the system and mechanism of medical referrals for patients in the Gaza Strip have not been modified or changed".

The ministry blamed Israel for banning the issuance of permissions for patients from Gaza to leave the strip for treatment. It also held Hamas responsible for the lives of patients in the Gaza Strip.

In 2014, Hamas and rival Palestinian movement Fatah -- the latter of which leads the PA -- agreed in principle to establish a unity government.

The so-called "unity government" that was set up in Ramallah, however, has so far failed to assume a governing role in Gaza due to outstanding differences between the two ideologically-opposed movements.

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