Fourth group of Gazans arrive in UAE for treatment
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Fourth group of Gazans arrive in UAE for treatment

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The fourth group of Gazans being aided by the UAE arrived in the Emirates on Saturday, according to a report In the UAE’s The National. “The group of 77 patients – accompanied by 43 family members – were evacuated from Gaza and transported to the Emirates from El Arish Airport in Egypt,” the report said. It notes that this is one of several UAE initiatives that have been ongoing to help Gazans in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel that sparked the current war.

The report noted that “Donation drives and aid collection campaigns have also been held across the Emirates. President Sheikh Mohamed and US Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday spoke about the importance of protecting civilians in Gaza, by working towards a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.”

People walk at the site of an Israeli strike in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 18, 2023 (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
In addition, the UAE field hospital in Gaza is also now open. “Medical teams from the UAE will provide aid and treatment to injured Palestinian residents in Gaza,” the National Said. The hospital has 150 beds. “It can be used for general surgery, orthopedics, children and women, anesthesia, and intensive care for children and adults. It also offers clinics in internal medicine, dentistry, psychiatric treatment, and family medicine.”

This is important because Israel is now beginning to focus on southern Gaza where Hamas leaders are believed to be hiding. Israel carried out airstrikes in the south over the weekend. Arab News reported that one of these airstrikes targeted a housing complex that had been funded by Qatar. Israel surrounded Gaza City earlier this month. Gaza is cut in half by Israeli troops, who executed a maneuver during the ground operation that places an Israeli armored division between Gaza City and southern Gaza. Israel has asked Gazans to move to the south to safety and a new map provides more details on safe zones. More than 1 million Gazans are estimated to have already moved south.

‘Flexible plan’

A separate article at Arab News described the conditions faced by medics the UAE sent for the flights that are helping some Gazans. “UAE doctors and nurses have no knowledge of the cases they will receive beforehand, prompting them to follow a flexible plan throughout the mission. They must be prepared with all types of equipment and a range of specializations,” the report noted. “To increase their future preparedness, the medical staff constantly learn from the challenges of each mission and aim to improve for the next. During the first evacuation mission, for example, the team faced difficulties moving a patient with a spinal cord injury into the plane due to a lack of equipment to prevent his neck from moving. Another mission received a far higher number of patients than expected.”

This is important because it illustrates the key and important role the UAE is playing, along with other Gulf countries, to offer support to those in need in Gaza, or those who can be evacuated for medical reasons. The UAE is playing a practical and helpful role. Other countries such as Iran and Turkey have instead focused on fanning the flames of tensions. 

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