Palestinian Ministry of Health announced yesterday that it is stopping all medical transfers to Israeli hospitals in response to Tel Aviv withholding millions of dollars in taxes owed to the Palestinian Authority, Arab48 reported.
Spokesman of the Ministry of Health Osama Al-Najjar said: “The decision came in the context of the directions issued by the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the different ministries to reduce the relationship with Israel.”
Al-Najjar added that this is part of the response of the Israeli decision to deduct $138 million from the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s tax revenue in a bid to stop prisoners’ stipends.
“The bill of the medical treatment transfers to the Israeli hospitals is about $100 million a year,” he said.
The PA threatened to refuse customs duties altogether if Israel pressed ahead with its decision to make deductions. Senior official of Fatah – the Palestinian faction which dominates the PA – Hussein Al-Sheikh, blamed the US for Israel’s decision, revealing that international financial institutions and banks had begun imposing a financial siege on the PA at the US’ request.