Qatar has evacuated at least 401 Palestinians from Gaza since late last year under the initiative, including those in need of medical treatment.
Qatar sent two aid flights for Gaza on Monday carrying 41 tonnes of medical supplies as the besieged enclave grapples with a dire humanitarian catastrophe amid the ongoing Israeli genocide and complete siege on the area.
The flights landed in Egypt’s El Arish, where aid is being collected before crossing into Gaza through the Rafah Crossing, the only way in and out of the area.
The aid Qatar sent brought up the total of such aircraft 72, carrying 2,144 tonnes of aid, the Gulf state’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The aid is part of the State of Qatar’s full support to the brotherly Palestinian people currently subjected to difficult humanitarian conditions,” the statement added.
Qatar has been providing vital humanitarian aid to Gaza as it juggles its diplomatic role in mediating a ceasefire that would end the genocidal war.
On December 13, Qatar pledged $50 million at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva as an initial humanitarian aid package for Gaza.
On December 18, Sheikh Tamim donated QAR 100 million (around $27.5 million) to back the local “Palestine Duty” charity campaign. The campaign gathered a total of QAR 200,048,750 (around $55 million) in donations for Gaza.
On December 3, Qatar’s Amir launched an initiative to sponsor 3,000 orphans and treat 1,500 injured Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. Under the initiative, the Gulf State is supervising the transfer of the wounded in coordination with Egypt, in preparation for treatment in Doha.
Qatar has evacuated at least 401 Palestinians from Gaza since late last year under the initiative, including those in need of medical treatment and others with special cases.
The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) also announced plans last year to deploy an aid ship for Gaza to provide much-needed humanitarian relief.
Israel besieging hospitals
Israel has killed more than 26,637 people and wounded over 65,387 others in Gaza since October 7, 2023, while displacing more than 1.9 million people out of the total 2.2 million population.
People in Gaza have been forced to seek shelter multiple times, more recently in Khan Younis where Israel’s attacks intensified the most. Palestinians had to flee from Khan Younis to the densely-populated Rafah city in the south after Israeli forces advanced deeper into the area.
Since last week, Israel has besieged the Nasser Medical Complex and Al Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, leaving hundreds of patients, medics and displaced Palestinians stranded for more than a week.
Al Amal Hospital was forced to cease its operations on Monday after running out of oxygen supplies.
Gaza now has only 14 of 36 partially functional hospitals, down from 16 at the start of January, according to the United Nations’ latest flash update.
The collapse of Gaza’s health sector is caused by the Israeli bombardment, raids of facilities, and a complete blockade that has cut off the population from basic resources including water and fuel.
The Gaza Strip has been under an electricity blackout since 11 October 2023, after Israel ordered the blockade and prevented the entry of fuel to power the enclave’s sole power plant.
Israel’s attacks on hospitals went even beyond Gaza on Tuesday after an undercover Israeli hit squad shot dead three Palestinians inside the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
Israel confirmed the killings and accused the three men of hiding at the facility and were part of a Hamas “terrorist cell” while claiming it found a gun belonging to one of them.
Shocking security camera footage that circulated online showed a large number of the Israelis that committed the crime, some posing as medical staff and others as civilians while carrying heavy rifles.
The West Bank has been under heavy attacks since the beginning of the war in Gaza. Israel has killed at least 367 Palestinians in the West Bank since October 7, 2023, and detained 6,390 others, including freed prisoners.