It’s not too easy to find a definitive figure on how much aid Gaza receives on an annual basis. First of all, there’s the official aid Gaza receives, versus the aid it receives on the sly, from places like Iran. Then, we don’t know how much pledged money actually gets sent there. But we do definitely know that the amount of aid Gaza receives is in the billions—at least $2.4b in 2012, according to one source, which makes it third in line for most aid to any country, after Syria and Sudan.
This being the case, I have to wonder why 24 year-old Mahmoud Kuweifi of Gaza, who has cystic fibrosis, doesn’t have access to medical care inside Gaza. According to the Independent, Kuweifi has been allowed out of Gaza since infancy for regular treatment at Israel’s Tel HaShomer Hospital. His family has “nothing but praise” for the staff at Tel HaShomer.
“I like them very much,” says Mr Kuweifi, adding only half-jokingly: “If I could claim asylum there, I would.”
According to his mother, Suzanne, 50: “The doctors there have become really good friends. They raised him.”
The warmth with which Mr Kuweifi’s parents describe “the Jews” who have cared for their son would be striking even if they didn’t live in the eastern Gaza City neighbourhood of Shejaiyia, scene of perhaps the worst death and destruction during the 2014 war.
But, according to the Independent, Mahmoud had to miss his last two appointments when the IDF refused to grant him a permit to enter Israel. Mahmoud was said to feel “so confused” about the refusal and added, “I am not in any of the factions. I feel helpless. I don’t want to say I’m desperate, but I am being careful not to get infections. If I get ill, I might die.”
The article goes on to say how Israel has been oh-so-strict regarding the granting of permits to Gazans wanting to enter Israel for medical treatment. Now, I have to say I find this confusing. First of all, the Arabs say they are occupied by Israel. They say they want the occupation to end and they want statehood and they want that state to be Judenrein, a state without Jews. So if they get their wish, who treats their ill?
They can’t have it both ways. If they want to be shed of Israel, so let them be shed of Israel. Let them govern themselves, provide medical care for themselves, electricity for themselves, and so on. They could do it right now: start taking care of themselves with all that money, instead of padding the pockets of officials, building tunnels, and stocking munitions with which to target Israel.
None of this gets mentioned in the Independent article, of course. Instead, the writer, Donald Macintyre, makes us really hate those nasty Jews, who may even make poor Mahmoud DIE.
Mahmoud’s next appointment is more than a month away – if he gets a permit.
Frightened his illness will undergo a crisis before then, his mother said: “I am preparing myself to bury him.”
Not enough Kleenex in the world, huh?
By the way, just out of curiosity, I looked up what it costs to build a hospital. Google told me that the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, more commonly known as Ichilov Hospital, cost $110 million to build and it’s the third-largest hospital complex in Israel. This being the case, it seems that the $2.4 billion in aid received by Gaza in 2012 alone, should have sufficed to build a whole bunch of hospitals.
But don’t let that stop the Independent from running its tear-jerker piece about Mahmoud with the headline: Palestinian patients suffer as Israeli crackdown on exit permits keeps them away from hospital.