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Cablegate: Hospitals in Nablus More Secure

VZCZCXRO2417
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #2411 3251251
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211251Z NOV 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9742
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 002411

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/IPA FOR
GOLDBERGER/SHAMPAINE/BELGRADE; PRM FOR PRM/ANE; NSC FOR
ABRAMS/WATERS; TREASURY FOR SZUBIN/LOEFFLER/NUGENT/HIRSON;
BRUSSELS FOR LERNER; PLEASE PASS TO USAID FOR
MCCLOUD/BORODIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON KPAL KWBG PGOV PHUM
SUBJECT: HOSPITALS IN NABLUS MORE SECURE

REF: JERUSALEM 2336

1. (SBU) Summary: PA Ministry of Health (MOH) officials
told Econoff on November 19 that recently-arrived PA security
forces in Nablus have (1) removed armed militias from the
hospitals; (2) allowed hospital administrators to implement
visitor hour programs for first time since 2000 and to clear
hallways and rooms; (3) discontinued the militia practice of
forced medical appointments; and (4) allowed for the launch
of Nablus PA hospital programs with area university medical
students. End summary.

Militias Forced Out of Hospitals
--------------------------------

2. (SBU) Nablus-based Ministry of Health (MOH) Director
General For Hospitals Maim Sabra told Econoff November 19
that Nablus hospitals have been able to serve patients "one
hundred percent" better than prior to the deployment of PA
security forces (PASF) to Nablus earlier in the month. He
said that PASF have removed militias from hospital hallways
and rooms, many of which had been held for exclusive use by
militia families and associates. He claimed that health care
professionals in Nablus hospitals are free of militia
intimidation during work hours with PASF stationed near the
entrances of the major Nablus hospitals.

Visitor Hours Established;
Hallways Cleared
----------------

3. (SBU) MOH Director General of International Cooperation
Qasem Maani said that, for the first time in seven years, PA
hospital directors in Nablus have successfully implemented
visiting hours. Hospital entrances, hallways, and rooms are
no longer crowded with patients' family and friends around
the clock. Prior to the enhanced security environment,
militia members would call and demand immediate medical
appointments for friends and family. Maani said that MOH
physicians have reported that the presence of PASF has ended
the effective intimidation behind "forced appointments."


University Medical Program Launched
-----------------------------------

4. (SBU) Maani told Econoff that Minister of Health Fathi
Abu Moughli visited Nablus' two PA hospitals on November 18.
Abu Moughli toured the hospitals with participants of a new
PA program initiated earlier this month, bringing area
medical students to PA hospitals in Nablus once a week to
assist physicians and gain valuable experience, according to
Maani. Without the improved security environment, this
program would not have been possible, he said.

----
For the latest reports on the Palestinian economy, visit
ConGen Jerusalem's unclassified intelink site at:
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/pal econ

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