The European Union is paying €13 million to the Palestinian Authority in support of medical referrals to East Jerusalem hospitals, the bloc announced yesterday. According to a press release issued by the Office of the European Union Representative in Jerusalem, the donation will be increased by €1.7m from Finland and €1m from Italy.
The financial support from Europe will help the hospitals to provide much needed services to Palestinian patients coming from the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as the Gaza Strip. Such support from the EU and its member states have totalled more than €141m since 2012.
The hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem are an integral part of the Palestinian healthcare system providing specialised services that cannot be found elsewhere in the West Bank and Gaza.
"Through the support of the European Union and its member states today, we reaffirm our commitment towards maintaining access to specialised medical services for all Palestinians, in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza," said Deputy European Union Representative Maria Velasco.
The Consul General of Italy in Jerusalem, Giuseppe Fedele, added that, "Italy has long been supporting East Jerusalem hospitals, in line with its multiple efforts to increase access to high quality health care for all Palestinians." This was echoed by a statement from Finnish Ambassador Päivi Peltokoski.