Hamas blames PA for death of infants denied treatment in Israel

Hamas says the PA’s refusal to enable medical treatment in Israel for Gaza residents has caused the death of three infants. 

In an escalation of the feud between Hamas in Gaza and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority’s (PA), Hamas on Tuesday blamed the PA for the deaths of three infants who were denied entry for treatment in Israeli hospitals by the PA.

“The behavior of [PA head] Mahmoud Abbas in stopping the medical transfers for Gaza’s sick, which has led to the martyrdom of a number of children, constitutes crimes against humanity,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zurhi posted on Twitter.

“We call for a greater humanitarian movement to save Gaza and stop the Abbas-Netanyahu scheme to strangle Gaza,” Abu Zurhi wrote.

According to the Hamas-run health ministry, three infants died in Gaza hospitals within 24 hours and more were in danger of losing their lives if the PA continued to deny them medical treatment in Israel.

The PA is responsible for issuing permits and paying the cost.

“There are a number of infants facing the same fate in the coming hours in Shifa Hospital, as well as in al-Nasr Children’s Hospital and al-Rantissi Children’s Hospital,” said Gaza’s deputy health minister, Yusuf Abu Rish, Times of Israel reported.

On Monday, Ha’aretz reported that the PA has been blocking Palestinian patients from leaving the Strip to receive crucial medical services in Israel and Jordan.

The PA in Ramallah denies any changes in policy. However, it has been delaying the administration and payment of urgent medical treatment outside of Gaza, according to Gaza residents who spoke to Haaretz. 

In recent months, the PA has stepped up financial and political pressure on Hamas in order to force the Palestinian terror group to cede control of Gaza, which it has ruled since ousting the PA in 2007.

The PA has held back on its funding of electricity and medical aid for Gaza, in addition to slashing the salaries of Gaza-based PA employees.

This development is the latest phase in an ongoing power struggle between the rival Palestinian factions.

As is often the case, the struggle comes at the expense of the locals.

By: JNS.org and World Israel News Staff