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PA denies halting medical shipments to Gaza

Palestinians wait in line to receive health care in Gaza on December 9 2013 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Palestinians wait in line to receive health care in Gaza on December 9 2013 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

The Palestinian Authority yesterday denied claims that it was stopping the transfer of medicines and baby formula from reaching the besieged Gaza Strip.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said in a statement on Tuesday that the PA had informed the ministry that it would stop sending medicine and milk to the Gaza Strip.

Read: PA cuts off medical supplies to Gaza

Al-Qidra called the move a "political decision", referring to heightened conflicts between Hamas, the de facto leading party in the Gaza Strip, and the Fatah-led PA in the occupied West Bank, adding that the ministry had begun communications with the PA Ministry of Health in Ramallah in an attempt to halt the decision.

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However, the PA Ministry of Health said yesterday that not only were the Gaza ministry's claims false, but that a shipment of children's formula was expected to be delivered to the Gaza Strip in the coming few days.

The sources added that the milk was for children suffering from genetic diseases, adding that the shipment was estimated to be worth a quarter of a million shekels ($69,279).

The PA Ministry of Health has maintained that if Gaza is suffering from a shortage in medication it is because the occupied West bank also does not have access to the drug.

However, Israeli daily Haaretz reported last month that PA authorities had planned to slash Gaza's health budget this month as "punishment" for the Hamas government for "turning down Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' initiatives to restore PA control in the Strip."

Photo story: 5,000 Gazans at risk of death due to power shortage

Hospitals and patients are effected by the electricity crisis in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Hospitals and patients are effected by the electricity crisis in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

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