Feb 26, 4:25 PM EST

An Israeli health official says Israel's hospitals will stop treating Syrian patients in non-emergency cases next week unless the Israeli government fully reimburses the hospitals for years of medical treatments to those wounded in the Syrian civil war


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JERUSALEM (AP) -- An Israeli health official says Israel's hospitals will stop treating Syrian patients in non-emergency cases beginning next week unless the Israeli government fully reimburses the hospitals for years of medical treatments to those wounded in the Syrian civil war.

The Health Ministry says that since 2013, four Israeli hospitals have treated a total of 2,278 Syrians. It says many of them had war wounds requiring significant surgery.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in December that he wanted to expand medical assistance to wounded Syrians.

But Orly Weinstein, who heads the Health Ministry's division of government medical centers, told the prime minister's office Sunday that the Israeli government has only partially reimbursed hospitals for the treatments and that the hospitals can no longer bear the financial burden.

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