Some of the patients were preparing to be transferred to receive treatment in Qatar under Doha’s efforts to provide urgent medical intervention for wounded Palestinians.
Qatar’s Minister of State for International Cooperation Lolwah Al Khater has visited wounded Palestinians receiving treatment at the Italian Navy hospital ship “Volcano” in Egypt’s El Arish port on Sunday, the Gulf state’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“Her Excellency exchanged friendly conversations with the wounded and expressed the State of Qatar’s sympathy and concern for them within the framework of its full support for the fraternal Palestinian people, especially during the difficult humanitarian conditions they are currently exposed to,” the statement said.
The Qatari armed forces had boarded the ship on December 1 to provide urgent medical assistance for wounded Palestinians who had been evacuated from Gaza amid Israel’s genocidal war on Palestine.
Medics inside the ship carried out the first surgery on a 38-year-old Palestinian woman, who was a victim of Israeli bombing, on December 15, according to the Italian defence ministry.
Some doctors from Qatar are also aboard the ship.
Some of the patients were preparing to receive treatment in Qatar under Doha’s efforts to provide urgent medical intervention for wounded Palestinians.
On December 3, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani launched an initiative to sponsor 3,000 orphans and treat 1,500 injured Palestinians in 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.
The Gulf state evacuated the fourth batch of wounded Palestinians by Saturday, though Qatari authorities have yet to announce the full number of those evacuated so far or the hospital where they are being treated.
As of Sunday, Qatar deployed 50 flights carrying a total of 1,548 tonnes of food, medical and hygiene supplies for Palestinians in Gaza, according to the latest figures by Doha’s foreign ministry.
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.
‘Decimation’ of Gaza’s health system
The Israeli occupation forces have relentlessly bombarded Gaza since October 7, reducing the once vibrant coastal enclave to rubble.
As of Monday morning, Israel has killed at least 20,424 Palestinians in Gaza while injuring 54,036 others, Palestinian health officials confirmed.
Euro-Med separately reported on December 23 that Israel killed at least 28,091 Palestinians, including 11,023 children. The figure is higher than the one reported by Gaza’s health authorities as it included victims believed to be under the rubble.
The health sector in Gaza has been among Israel’s main targets, with at least 131 health facilities and 481 health staff targeted since October 7, according to Euro-Med.
On Sunday, the World Health Organization’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus deplored the “decimation of the Gaza health system.”
“But in the face of constant insecurity and inflows of wounded patients, we see doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and more continue striving to save lives. WHO and our health partners will continue working side by side with you, delivering supplies, supporting the provision of care, and transferring the seriously wounded,” he said in a post on X.
Gaza barely has any functioning hospitals due to the non-stop Israeli bombardment and an extreme shortage of basic resources to treat the wounded Palestinians. On December 18, WHO said that less than a third of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are at least partially functional.
The Gaza Strip is currently grappling with a dire humanitarian situation due to the genocide, with 1.9 million currently displaced and living under the harsh winter season.
Israel, backed by the United States, has continued to act with impunity while rejecting all attempts at reaching a ceasefire in Gaza. The U.S. has continued to block all ceasefire attempts at the United Nations.
On December 8, the U.S. used its veto power to block a UN Security Council ceasefire resolution.
In a post on X on Saturday, Qatar’s minister of state for international cooperation called out politicians who opposed a ceasefire in Gaza.
“As for politicians who are still opposing an immediate ceasefire to stop the slaughtering of kids and civilians, those who are still fueling this brutal war, as you celebrate Christmas with your family in some vacation house, this kid from Gaza wants to wish you a Merry Christmas,” Al Khater said, referring to an image of a wounded Palestinian child in Gaza.