PA: Gaza Health Ministry stole medical aid in summer conflict

Palestinian paramedics carry a man wounded in a strike at a marketplace in the Shejaiya neighborhood, as he arrives at a hospital in Gaza City on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 (photo credit: AFP/ Mohammed Abed)

The Palestinian Authority on Sunday accused the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry of having stolen medical equipment and medications that the PA sent during the summer conflict to assist the Strip’s overburdened hospitals, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported.

In a fierce condemnation of its Gaza counterpart, a spokesman for the PA Health Ministry charged that Hamas was preventing volunteers from cleaning up garbage that piled up at Gaza’s public hospitals following a strike of its janitorial staff who had not been paid for months. He further said that Hamas had created a “new department” at the Kerem Shalom crossing that taxed all supplies — including medical aid — entering the Gaza Strip, and that since the formation of the Palestinian unity government, Gaza ministry officials have been withholding funds.

During the summer conflict, the PA ministry sent large shipments of medical aid, but “didn’t know where those medicines were distributed and who benefited from them,” PA Health Ministry spokesman Osama al-Najjar told a Ramallah press conference…