A 7-year-old battling leukemia has become collateral damage of the Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying wages to terrorists and their families.
The non-profit Palestinian Media Watch uncovered the startling sequence of decisions regarding Majed Muhammad Majed Ah-Sha’er, who has been getting treatments in Ichilov Hospital in Israel.
Suffering from leukemia, he was taken to the Israeli hospital because it was the first outside the United States to use a new cancer treatment that holds promise for lymphoma and leukemia victims.
“He has been transferred to hospitals in the occupied interior (i.e., Israel) since the outbreak of the disease,” the boy’s father said in a report.
He explained his son’s treatment has so far brought a “good” response.
But he noted that the physicians have insisted on checkups every six months.
The further treatment has been brought to a halt, the report said. Request for the next trip was rejected by “the relevant bodies in Ramallah,” the headquarters for the Palestinian Authority.
He was told his son likely would be sent somewhere else.
The father explained that PA President Mahmoud Abbas “has decided to stop the referrals to the Israeli hospitals, but there are sick people who are still being treated in the occupied interior.”
Abbas was reacting to a new Israeli law that withholds payments to the PA in the amount the PA pays to support terrorists and their families.
Israel argues that such payments are a financial incentive to terrorism.
The law was adopted in 2018, and on Feb. 17, 2019, authorities withheld about $138 million under its provisions.
“In response, the PA announced it would not accept any of the tax money collected by Israel unless it also included the frozen amount,” PMW said.
The PA since then has been lobbying other nations to provide funding.
“The PA explained that since Israel is refusing to transfer the money the PA spent last year on salaries to terrorists (approximately $138 million), the PA will no longer permit Palestinians to travel for medical treatment in Israel, for which the PA has to pay,” the report said.
“This decision clearly demonstrated the PA’s priorities – the continued payment of the salaries to the Palestinian terrorist prisoners and released prisoners is more important than providing sick Palestinians with the opportunity to receive medical treatment in Israeli hospitals,” PMW commented.
“Palestinian Media Watch notes that the decision of the PA to stop referrals of Palestinians to Israeli hospitals appears only to have affected the regular Palestinians such as Majed, but not Palestinian leaders, such as Jibril Rajoub, who recently received medical treatment in the very same Israeli Ichilov hospital,” the report said.