Middle East Monitor, January 4, 2018

A Palestinian child can be seen outside make-shift homes in Gaza [Apaimages]

Thousands of public servants and their families in Gaza have had no income for months; thousands of poor families have no social benefits to fall back on; and thousands of workers’ families have no money because more than 80 per cent of the businesses and 90 per cent of factories in Gaza have already stopped production.

[...] On Tuesday, the spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf Al-Qiddra, announced the postponement of thousands of appointments for surgery, warning that they would be cancelled if Israel does not lift its sanctions on medicines, medical equipment and spare parts for vital machinery. The PA, he added, must also send urgently needed medical disposables and medicines to the hospitals and healthcare centres in Gaza. “Stock levels of many items on the essential drugs list are at zero in the Central Store,” he warned.

Meanwhile, the PA’s procrastination over paying the salaries of the public servants recruited by Hamas after the movement won the election in 2006, which the reconciliation deal stipulated should be paid by November, as well as its dithering about lifting its own sanctions on Gaza suggest that Ramallah is not serious about ending the suffering of fellow Palestinians in the enclave. “Even the PA employees in Gaza who are heavily in debt to the banks and have lost one-third of their salaries, are now classified among the poor,” explained Abu Jayyab.