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Palestinian government confirms support for East Jerusalem hospitals

Sept. 10, 2018 11:22 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 10, 2018 2:34 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Minister of Health, Jawad Awwad, confirmed that the Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, decided to transfer funds to help support East Jerusalem hospitals after the United States administration’s decision.

Last week, the US Trump administration announced to cancel more than $20 million in aid to Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem and "investing it in other priorities."

Haaretz reported that "the budget cut could cause harm to at least five hospitals in East Jerusalem, including Augusta Victoria hospital near Mt. Scopus and the St. John Eye Hospital, which is the main provider of eye treatments for Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem."

Awwad said in a statement on Sunday evening that Hamdallah’s decision to fund Palestinian hospitals is new practical proof of the Palestinian government’s assertion that Jerusalem hospitals are part of the Palestinian governmental hospitals.

He added that the decision, made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, to transfer funds to the hospitals is confirmation that the government will not allow for this type of "abuse" of East Jerusalem hospitals.

Hamdallah announced that the Palestinian government's decision and said that Abbas instructed the government to cover the deficit in the budget of East Jerusalem hospitals following the US decision.

"We will continue to meet the basic and urgent needs of our people on every inch of our land. Despite the deficit, the challenges, the sanctions and the drop in foreign aid by 70%, we will nevertheless manage and we will not trade our national rights for political money," Hamdallah noted.

Awwad also stressed the importance of strengthening the steadfastness of Jerusalem hospitals, which are considered to be a major support to the holy city and to its people, and expressed gratitude to the Palestinian government to help prevent East Jerusalem hospitals from collapsing.
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