The Palestinian Authority (PA) has decided to suspend funding of medical treatment for Gaza residents in Egypt. The decision has been blamed on a sharp rise in the cost of the treatment and the inability to pay accumulating debts, Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah revealed on Monday.
The newspaper said that the decision was taken by the PA in Ramallah at the beginning of this month by Dr Ameera al-Hindi, the Director General of Medical Procurement Services at the Ministry of Health.
Al-Hindi confirm that funding medical treatment in Egypt had to be suspended due to the spiralling cost and a shortfall in the Department's budget.
However, sources revealed to Al-Resalah that the bill for medical treatment in Egypt is paid by the Arab League, not by the PA. It is claimed that the decision was aimed at Gaza residents, as patients from the West Bank do not normally travel for medical treatment to Egypt.
The sources also said that the decision came as a means to further "tighten the political, economic and social siege" imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than 10 years.
The decision is set to severely affect Gaza's residents given that Palestinians are routinely denied entry through the Erez Crossing, between Gaza and Israel, to travel to the West Bank, Jordan or Israeli hospitals to receive medical treatment.
Patients, given permission to travel, are often asked by the Israeli security services to provide information about Palestinian residents and factions to facilitate their travel.