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Monday, May 08, 2006

Funds Cut, Gaza Faces a Plague of Health Woes

The New York Times has another puff piece this morning about the 'poor Palestinians' who are beginning to suffer the consequences of their having elected Hamas in January. If this goes on long enough, maybe they'll ask the Israelis to come back and re-occupy re-liberate them.

The Times reports on shortages of "everything from disposable needles and adhesive tape to vital drugs" and says that Gaza's al-Shifa hospital "can no longer provide chemotherapy for many forms of cancer, has only a few days' supply of important surgical drugs like atropine, adrenaline, heparin and lidocaine, and has used up its strategic three-month cache normally kept for a health crisis." What they don't mention is that - at least until this past summer - many Gazans were treated at Israeli hospitals. Indeed, if the 'Palestinians' had elected a government that was interested in cooperating with Israel rather than in destroying it, there is little doubt that the Israelis would be helping out with the Gazans' health care. But when the heroes of the 'Palestinians' are the likes of Wafa Samir Ibrahim al-Biss, what can be expected?

Five paragraphs into the story, the Times finally gets around to the real problem: "[A]rmed men have been forcing their way into the hospital demanding preferential treatment for relatives, clan members or friends, and authorization to travel outside Gaza for medical treatment." You mean that sort of thing doesn't go on in your local hospital?

The Times attributes the crisis to two factors: "the budget deficit in the Palestinian Authority — which has worsened significantly since Israel stopped transferring tax collections, and the United States and the European Union cut off aid after the Hamas government took over — and the inability to get goods into Gaza through the main crossing point at Karni, which the Israelis keep closing whenever there is a security alert."

The Times notes that the Palestinian Authority is partly to blame for these problems, for failing to stop attempted attacks on Karni, though Israel has been criticized by Mr. Wolfensohn and the European Union, and more quietly by the United States, for keeping the crossing closed. Why should we accept terror attacks so that they can have medical supplies? Is their blood redder than ours?

Here's an important point I'll bet most of you didn't know: Even before the Hamas victory, the authority was running a debt of $75 million a month because it raised salaries last summer and hired thousands of young armed men, causing the World Bank to cut off budget support.

In other words, Fatah raised salaries in a pre-election pitch to keep voters and Hamas is now stuck with the increased salaries. Good for them!

The rest of the story is a laundry list of missing supplies and suffering 'Palestinians' whose 'government' hasn't got a clue how to provide them with proper medical care. Not to mention all of the 'Palestinians' who can no longer be sent to Israel for treatment because their 'government' has no money to pay. Sorry folks, but given that these people want to kill us R"L, I find it very difficult to feel sorry for them. I wonder what medical care is like in Egypt or Syria? Why don't they send some of these sick people there? You mean their fellow Arabs won't pay for their care? Then why should we?


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