RAMALLAH - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has vowed that within a year no Palestinian patient would need to receive medical treatment abroad.

“I told the Minister of Health that within a year, there must inevitably be no patient being treated abroad. Do we lack the skills? I do not think this is a valid argument…
and if we lack the equipment, [the need] will be met immediately,” Abbas said while inaugurating a private hospital in Ramallah according to the Palestinian News
Agency Wafa.

“I don’t want any Palestinian to be treated neither in Israel nor in America, as long as the [doctor] who will treat him/her in America is here now, and as long as we have
the machine and the equipment. Do we lack for anything? We lack for nothing,” the PA president stated.

Earlier this year, the Palestinian Authority announced that as of March 26, 2019, it would stop providing its citizens with medical treatment in Israel.

More than 20,000 permits were granted to Palestinians living in the West Bank to enter Israel and receive treatment or support a patient who was receiving treatment in
the Jewish state last year, according to numbers released to The Jerusalem Post by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) in an
interview earlier this year. That number was up by nearly 3,000 from the year before.

The PA’s move followed the Israeli decision to withhold $138 million in tax money from the PA, which is the implementation of the Jewish state’s “Pay-for-Slay” law
that instructs it to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of “martyrs” from the tax money Israel collects for
the authority.

The law was passed in July 2018 and was approved for implementation by Israel’s security cabinet this year.(FA)