Turkish ship carrying field hospitals docks in Egypt near Gaza: official
November 13, 2023 08:06 PM
A Turkish vessel carrying materials for field hospitals arrived Monday in Egypt's port of El Arish near the Rafah border crossing with the war-ravaged Gaza Strip, a port official said.
It is the first such aid vessel to arrive in Egypt since war broke out on October 7 when Hamas militants in Gaza launched an attack on Israel that killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.
Israel has responded with a furious bombing campaign and ground invasion that officials in the Hamas government say has killed over 11,000 people, also mostly civilians and including thousands of children.
A Turkish health official told AFP that the vessel was carrying "materials, generators, ambulances to establish eight field hospitals".
The Turkish official added that Ankara had requested Cairo's approval to build the field hospitals in El Arish, which lies about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Rafah border -- the only crossing to Gaza not controlled by Israel.
"We received the green light from Egyptian authorities. We will set up these hospitals to the areas shown by the Egyptian authorities," the official said.
The delivery comes as Hamas government officials said all hospitals in northern Gaza were "out of service" amid fuel shortages as a result of fighting with Israeli forces.
The Hamas government's deputy health minister Youssef Abu Rish said the death toll inside Al-Shifa rose to 27 adult intensive care patients and seven babies since the weekend as the facility suffered fuel shortages.