Lawmakers blast corona treatment for ‘hater of Israel’ at Israeli hospital

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PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat (AP/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Defense Minister Benny Gantz approved a request by the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Sunday to transfer PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat to Israel for coronavirus treatment, prompting criticism by some Israeli officials.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, called the move, “Palestinian hypocrisy at its finest vs Israeli devotion to life.”

“It’s ironic that a top PLO official accepted treatment in an Israeli hospital even after endorsing #BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] & spreading a libel that Israelis intentionally infect Palestinians with #COVID19,” Erdan tweeted on Sunday.

Ariel Kallner, a member of Knesset for the Likud, tweeted, “It is interesting that in times of personal health danger, the leaders of the PA turn to the help of the Zionists. They do not take care of themselves and do not turn to their brothers in the neighboring countries.”

Kallner said that instead of developing their health care system, the PA has been busy developing a terrorist system.

“To treat at our expense a declared hater of Israel is not a sign of excessive morality. It is the opposite,” he said.

Michal Cotler-Wunsh, a member of Knesset for the Blue and White Party, tweeted, “The foundational principle of reciprocity demands: humanitarian for humanitarian!”

She said that Israeli medical aid should be reciprocated with the return of Oren Shaul, Hadar Goldin, Avera Mengistu, and Hisham al-Sayed, who have been illegally held in Gaza for years.

Bezalel Smotrich, a member of Knesset for the Yamina Party, tweeted, “The fact that we provide humanitarian medical care to our enemies without demanding and receiving humanitarian reciprocity in the form of returning the bodies of Hadar and Oren and releasing the civilians held captive by Hamas is neither moral nor logical.”

Doctors at Hadassah Medical Center downgraded Erekat’s condition to critical on Monday morning. “Due to respiratory distress, he was intubated and sedated,” the hospital said.

Erekat, 65, has preexisting conditions which place him at high risk for COVID-19.

He suffers from pulmonary fibrosis, received a lung transplant in 2017, and survived a heart attack in 2012.

In an op-ed in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on March 30, Erekat accused Israelis of “spitting on Palestinian cars and property ‎in order to transfer the corona disease,” and said that Israelis have a “wild desire to get rid of the ‎Palestinian people in any way.”

Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, said Sunday, “If Erekat really believed his own libel that Israelis ‘have the wild desire to get rid of the ‎Palestinian people,’ he certainly would not have chosen Hadassah Hospital to treat ‎him and try to save his life.”