A delegation of Israeli doctors entered the Gaza Strip to provide free treatment for hundreds of Palestinians impacted by the Corona-virus pandemic. The delegation will remain in the Strip for two days before returning to Israel.
The medical delegation, organized by Physicians for Human Rights is the first of its kind to support the coastal enclave since the beginning of the pandemic nine months ago.
The twelve doctors, all of whom are Israeli Arabs, will conduct surgeries, medical training, and instruction for Palestinian medical teams.
The delegation will bring some medical equipment and drugs with which to help combat the pandemic. But the doctors’ chief focus will be on other urgent cases that have been delayed as Gaza’s hospitals have filled with Corona-virus patients.
The delegation includes some doctors, orthopedists, neurologists, heart surgeons, and mental health experts, according to PHRI. The doctors have also opened a mobile medical facility in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis to accept various patients.
The treatments will not deal with Corona-virus, but rather with the chronically ill and other emergency cases whose treatment has been delayed because of Corona-virus.
All of the delegation’s treatment will be provided for free, Yaron said. The doctors arriving from within Israel were volunteers as well, and were not being compensated for their participation in the delegation.
While the coastal enclave had managed to avoid a wide-scale Corona-virus outbreak since the pandemic began, the past few weeks have seen a sharp rise in cases.
The Gaza Strip’s healthcare system has been battered by a 13-year-blockade by Israel and several wars between Israel and Egypt or the Hamas liberation group.
Critics of the restrictions have argued that it has had devastating impacts on ordinary Palestinians living in Gaza.
This delegation is not just a humanitarian action, but also a reminder that the Gaza Strip is not simply confronting Corona-virus, but also the continuing blockade which hurts the ill, medical staff, and the entire civilian population in Gaza.
Times of Israel / ABC Flash Point News 2020.