Arab media slams ‘Palestinian corruption,’ Erekat for corona treatment in Israel

“The corruption in the Palestinian Authority that led to damage to the health system is what forced the Palestinians to hospitalize Erekat in an Israeli hospital,” tweeted one Mideast expert.

By Baruch Yedid, TPS

Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem announced Monday a further deterioration in the condition of Saeb Erekat, a senior PLO and Palestinian Authority official, who was hospitalized in the Israeli hospital on Sunday following a deterioration in his health caused by his Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Alongside Palestinian silence, journalists in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are settling scores with the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership, after the latter attacked the Gulf States in recent weeks following their normalization of relations with Israel, which they branded a “betrayal.”

UAE writers emphasized the “Palestinian hypocrisy and double standards” in receiving treatment in an Israeli hospital despite severing ties with it.

Amjad Taha, an Arab researcher close to Saudi Arabia who lives in Britain and who recently suffered severe insults from the Palestinian Authority, tweeted that “the corruption in the Palestinian Authority that led to damage to the health system is what forced the Palestinians to hospitalize Erekat in an Israeli hospital.”

Other journalists called on the PA to condemn Erekat’s hospitalization in an Israeli hospital as it is considered a normalization of relations.

One of the Gulf journalists called on Sheikh Akrama Tsabari, head of the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem, to condemn Erekat as he condemned the Emirates delegation which visited Jerusalem last weekend.

Others stated that “Erekat is not the only one in severe condition but the entire Palestinian problem is in intensive care.”

It should be noted that Erekat’s hospitalization is not the first evidence of the PA leadership’s coordination with Israel to satisfy their personal medical needs. Recently, Jabril Rajoub went on a number of political trips in Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria with a Fatah delegation. Crossing through the Allenby Bridge into Jordan involves coordination with Israel.

“Has Saeb Erekat’s health become more important than the Palestinian issue?” asked an activist from the Emirates.

“Thanks to Allah that seeking treatment in Israeli hospitals is not considered a betrayal of the Palestinian issue,” he added cynically.

“It seems that Erekat does not trust the Palestinian doctors, who are his people, nor the hospitals in the PA,” another tweeted.

There is a great embarrassment in the PA following Erekat’s hospitalization because it is a step that requires civilian and security coordination with Israel and exposes the discrimination of senior PA officials over its residents, who are banned from seeking medical treatment in Israel.

In recent months, since PA head Mahmoud Abbas severed ties with Israel, patients in the Gaza Strip and the PA have found it difficult to receive medical treatment.

PA spokesmen did not comment on Erekat’s case. However, Fatah claimed that Erekat needed urgent treatment due to a medical complication related to his lung transplant from three years ago, and not due to his Corona condition.

Another Fatah spokesman alleged that Israel is forcing Arab hospitals in eastern Jerusalem to admit Jewish patients, which has caused distress and strain on the hospitals, thus trying to justify Erekat’s hospitalization at Hadassah Ein Kerem. The claims are utterly false.

Others claimed that Erekat was admitted to Ein Kerem because of the short drive from his home in Jericho.