Readers may recall that in early June listeners to BBC domestic radio’s news and current affairs station, Radio 4, were told by a presenter of the ‘Today’ show that:
“The fact remains that healthcare restrictions are being used [by Israel] to dehumanise the Palestinian people…”
The BBC of course has a history of ignoring stories which explain the need for security checks before permits are given to residents of the Gaza Strip to travel to or through Israel for the purpose of medical treatment.
At the end of June the Israeli news website Ynet reported (Hebrew) that:
“This morning the surveying stage begins for the construction of a big international field hospital on an area of 40 dunams with 16 different departments near the Erez Crossing, which will be run by an international medical team. The hospital will be funded by a private American organisation and [will be built] with Israel’s permission and it will bring significant improvement and [provide] services which are not given today in the Gaza Strip to Palestinian patients.”
However the Gatestone Institute now reports that the Palestinian Authority is objecting to the plan.
“Palestinian Authority Minister of Health Mai Kaila, during a meeting in her West Bank office in Ramallah, reportedly told the UN Deputy Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process Jimmy McGoldrick on July 31 that the field hospital was part of a plan to separate the West Bank from the Gaza Strip and that the Palestinian Authority government considers the plan to build a hospital a “part of the Deal of the Century.”
“If the objective of establishing this hospital is humane, it would have been better to support and develop existing hospitals in the Gaza Strip,” the Palestinian minister told the UN official. “This project wears the dress of humanity while concealing a dangerous political aspect.”
Kaila asked the UN official to relay a message to all relevant parties: The Palestinian Authority government has effectively washed its hands of the new hospital.”
Although BBC audiences are told plenty about the dire state of medical services in the Gaza Strip, they rarely hear about the PA actions which exacerbate that situation such as the longstanding insufficient supply of medications. Whether or not they will be informed of this latest own goal from the Palestinian Authority remains to be seen.