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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Palestinian Hospitals to Receive Aid

JERUSALEM -- The Israeli Cabinet approved on Sunday the transfer of $11 million worth of medicine and health supplies to the Palestinians to help ease the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel stopped transferring $55 million in taxes and customs to the Palestinian Authority monthly after the anti-Israeli Hamas group was elected in January. The money, which Israel collects for the Palestinians, is a key source of funding for the Palestinian government.

Israeli officials said recently that they did not want to cause a health crisis in the Palestinian areas, and would find a way to transfer the money for humanitarian use while bypassing Hamas.

The Cabinet decided Sunday to use $11 million of the funds owed the Palestinians to buy medicines and health supplies that will be transferred directly to Palestinian hospitals.

"We have no intention of helping the Palestinian government," Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said before Sunday's Cabinet meeting. "But ... we will transfer above and beyond what is necessary for humanitarian needs."

Palestinian hospitals have suffered from a lack of medicines and medical supplies since Israel and the international community cut off aid in an effort to make Hamas reform.

Two people have died from a lack of treatment and hundreds of dialysis patients are in danger, Israeli and Palestinian doctors from the group Physicians for Human Rights said last week.