Construction commences on new American field hospital in Gaza

September 25, 2019 by Baruch Yedid - TPS
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A delegation of American professionals entered the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to commence work on a new and advanced field hospital that will be established in the northern Gaza Strip.

Gazan residents gathering on the border fence between Israel and Gaza, in front of Khan Yunis in Gaza Strip, in preparation for the weekly clashes with IDF soldiers. Gaza envelope, Aug 23, 2019. Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS

A Gazan official told TPS that the medical equipment and devices are expected to arrive on-site in the near future.

The 10-acre hospital will consist of infrastructure dismantled from the IDF’s military hospital established by Israel a few years ago on the border with Syria, and equipment donated by a US organization, Friendship NGO. This project will also include support from Qatar, which has already invested $1 million.

The hospital is expected to be situated 200 meters from the Erez Crossing from Israel to Gaza and will be managed by voluntary organizations and doctors from various countries. The hospital’s services will include treatment for cancer patients and 16 new wards, but nonetheless, the Palestinians are opposed to its establishment.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is opposed the project because it claims that it is part of the understandings which are currently forming between Israel and Hamas, and which are expected to deepen the split between the PA’s government in Ramallah and Hamas’ rule in Gaza.

Fatah has announced that any civilian project that does not receive the PA’s approval is intended to advance President Donald Trump’s Deal of the Century diplomatic plan and deepen the schism between the PA and Gaza.

Hamas supports the hospital’s establishment because of the collapse of the health services in the Gaza Strip, but is facing opposition from Gazan factions who oppose it because its location, just 200 meters from the Erez Crossing, could facilitate a rapid Israeli takeover of the hospital.

They further expressed concern that the establishment of the hospital would eliminate the need for UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) institutions, and advance the Deal of the Century promoted by Trump, who significantly cut UNRWA’s budget.

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