CFI’s Honorary President Lord Polak CBE highlighted Israel’s provision of medical treatment for Palestinians and the misuse of ambulances by terrorists, during a debate on access to emergency care in East Jerusalem in the House of Lords on Tuesday.
In the debate, Lord Polak said that the “first responsibility” of a government is to protect its citizens, and that “difficult decisions have to be made” in reference to ambulance transfers at checkpoints in East Jerusalem.
Lord Polak continued: “Sadly, ambulances have been used by terrorists a number of times in the region. As we understand only too well, difficult decisions have to be made”.
He asked National Development Minister Lord Bates whether he was aware that “in 2015 more than 190,000 Palestinian entered Israel from the West Bank to receive medical treatment in Israeli hospitals?”
Lord Bates responded by acknowledging the number of Palestinians treated in hospitals in Israel and praising the Jewish State’s spirit towards offering medical services. He also raised the point that more needed to be done for patients who are forced to transfer from one ambulance to another at the borders in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
Throughout 2016, 30,000 people from the Gaza Strip alone received medical treatment in Israel, with over 7,000 tonnes of medical supplies transferred to hospitals and clinics in the territory.
Click here for the full exchange.
In a separate written question to Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay, Lord Polak raised concern about Hamas’s renewed construction of cross-border attack tunnels, asking “What assessment they have made of reports of renewed construction of tunnels into Israel by Hamas; and of the impact of those tunnels on progress towards a two-state solution”.
Baroness Anelay said in response that the Government remain “deeply concerned by Hamas attempts to rearm and rebuild militant infrastructure, including the tunnel network in Gaza”.
The Minister added: “Hamas rearmament undermines efforts to improve the situation in Gaza and harms the prospects for peace and stability in the Middle East”.