The Palestinian Authority on Sunday sent three truckloads of medicine to “the Venezuelan people,” Ma’an reported, noting this donation from the Palestinian Authority was based on “a decision by President Mahmoud Abbas.”
Foreign Minister Dr. Riyad al-Malki told Ma’an while attending to the traffic of medicine-laden trucks from the warehouses of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Shechem: “The decision of President Mahmoud Abbas to donate to Venezuela came in response to an appeal by the Venezuelan government because of the difficult circumstances experienced by the country, and attempts by the extreme right to overthrow the regime Judgment.”
Here’s the rub, though: the Gaza Strip, that other enclave of local Arabs, has been suffering from a severe shortage of medicine and medical supplies which threatens the health of one-third of patients in Gaza, according to Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health “The shortage is at 32% for medicines and 38% for medical supplies, which is equivalent to 154 different types of medicines and 342 types of medical disposables,” she told Al Monitor, warning of potential negative repercussions for Gazans’ health should these shortages persist.
Qudra blamed Israel for the shortage, naturally ( because how could he not), but then also pointed a blaming finger at the PA government which should transfer 40% of its medicine in Ramallah—most of which is provided by international parties—to the Gaza Strip, while 60% should remains in Judea and Samaria. Alas, according to Qudra, “only around 5% to 7% actually reaches the strip.”
Well, now you know why. Foreign Minister Al-Maliki said the Palestinian Authority would like to return a small portion of what Venezuela has provided to the Palestinian people over the years, the latest of which was the donation of $15 million for the establishment of a an eye hospital in Tirmsia, north of Ramallah.
PA Health Minister Jawad Awad said the donations were three trucks of medical supplies used in first aid and emergency situations, especially as Venezuela was experiencing difficult and tense conditions.
Munir al-Bursh, director general for pharmacies at the Ministry of Health, told Al-Monitor that the ministry usually tries to acquire drugs in the form of aid from the United Nations, but, Bursh noted, “the political division began to impede the flow of medicine from international parties straight to the strip. They are being transferred to the West Bank instead.”
Then to Venezuela…
And, of course, like every PA official on the planet, Bursh blamed the Gazan medicine shortage on the Israeli siege, on Egypt’s closing of the Rafah crossing, and on Hamas. “The problem [is] more complicated than it sounds,” he lamented. That’s how Al Monitor put it, “lamented.”