Netanyahu reportedly OKs field hospital for Gazans

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly approved the construction of an international field hospital to treat Gazans.

By World Israel News Staff

According to a report from the Hebrew-language daily Yediot Aharonot, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to construct an international field hospital at the Erez Crossing to treat Arabs living under the rule of Hamas.

This news follows a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas, signed Thursday.

The Erez Crossing is the entry and exit point between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Yediot Aharonot reported that the hospital will have 16 departments and be managed by an international medical team. Private organizations from America will provide the funding.

A liaison between Israel and the Palestinians told World Israel News, under the condition of anonymity, that if the hospital and its caregivers are under international auspices, it has the potential to operate successfully. However, should Hamas recognize that Israel is involved, the efforts will be worthless.

This is not the first time that a field hospital has been established at the Erez Crossing.

In 2014, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) opened a field hospital at the Erez Crossing to help sick and injured Palestinians from Gaza following media reports that Israel’s Operation Protective Edge defensive war had caused shortages of medical care for those living in the region.

The IDF Spokesman’s office reported at the time that many Gazans refused medical care from this hospital due to concerns that Hamas would suspect they were cooperating with its enemy.

Additionally, while this field hospital was operative, Hamas fired 10 mortar shells at it.

Since 1995, there has been cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to provide medical treatment in Israeli hospitals to Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria.

A report by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories Unit (COGAT) found that, in 2018, about 20,000 permits were granted to Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria to receive medical care in Israeli hospitals.

Despite continuous terror attacks on Israel by Palestinians, the granting of medical permits continues to increase each year.

The Israeli publication Mako reported that in 2015 alone, over 97,000 Palestinians from Judea and Samaria, along with 100,000 companions, were treated in Israeli hospitals. Nearly 32,000 patients from Gaza, along with their escorts, also received care.

However, in April, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Health Ministry stopped referring Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to Israeli hospitals, reported The Times of Israel.

PA Health Ministry spokesman Osama al-Najjar told The Times of Israel that sick Palestinians requiring special medical procedures or treatment, unavailable at Palestinian or eastern Jerusalem hospitals, would receive care by medical institutions in Jordan, Egypt or other countries.

“We have alternatives to Israeli hospitals, and we will now take advantage of them,” he said.

Palestinians operate six hospitals in eastern Jerusalem.

Yediot Aharonot reported that, should quiet return to Israel’s southern border, arrangements for additional projects will be made.