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Mufti: US hospital in Gaza is suspicious and hostile

A hospital in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
A hospital in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, warned of the repercussions that could follow the establishment of the American field hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip.

Dubbed “The American Hospital”, the medical centre is located near the Israeli controlled Erez (Beit Hanoun) crossing and will be managed by an international medical team after being built by an American group called Friendship.

Hussein warned that the hospital comes at a time when “America is preventing political and financial assistance from our steadfast people, giving our land to the settlers, conspiring against our holy sites, imposing financial sanctions on our economy, our hospitals and institutions, and fighting UNRWA.”

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He continued: “We cannot believe that this project is innocent of suspicion and hostile politicisation.”

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has opposed the project, which is being described as “an American military base,” because it claims that it is part of the understandings which are currently forming between Israel and Hamas, and which are expected to deepen the split between the PA’s government in Ramallah and Hamas’ rule in Gaza.

PA Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein Al-Sheikh tweeted that the hospital’s construction is part of an “Israeli policy of fragmentation” designed to eliminate the idea of ​​the Palestinian state. He called the initiative the “Shame Plan”, which is meant to separate the Gaza Strip from the rest of the Palestinian territory.

Hamas said that building this hospital is one of the terms of the understandings to break the Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip which was sponsored by Egypt, Qatar and the UN.

Palestinian Authority Minister of Health Mai Al-Kaila also rejected the establishment of a military US field hospital in the northern Gaza Strip under the sponsorship of Hamas and the Israeli occupation.

She told the Voice of Palestine radio: “Every year, the Ministry [of Health] sends medications and medical supplies worth 60 million shekels [$17.2 million] to the Gaza Strip. Therefore, there is no need for this US military hospital, where US military and foreign medical volunteers will be working.”

She said that if America wants to support the health sector in the Gaza Strip, it must support hospitals there, resume funding it had cut to hospitals in Jerusalem, and end the Israeli war on the Strip.

“If America wants to help our people in the Gaza Strip, it should have supported UNRWA, rather than cutting aid to this international institution. There is a big question mark about this hospital, which is in line with the deal of the century,” in reference to the American plan to bring an end to the Palestine-Israel crisis.

READ: New Freedom Flotilla will sail for Gaza in summer 2020

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