NewsFrench Warship Serves as Vital Medical Hub for Wounded Palestinians

French Warship Serves as Vital Medical Hub for Wounded Palestinians

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In the aftermath of months of conflict in the besieged Gaza Strip, a French warship stationed off the Egyptian coast is providing critical healthcare to Palestinians facing dire conditions.

Onboard the French helicopter carrier Dixmude, which has been repurposed as a hospital, wounded civilians find respite from the scarcity of medical assistance in Gaza. Abdulrahman Iyad, seated in a wheelchair, bears the physical toll of the war, his hands anxiously clenching near pins protruding from his thighs. Scrolling through images of his lost family, casualties of a devastating blast, he recounts the harrowing experience of being hurled through the air and trapped under the wreckage.

The Israeli-Hamas conflict, ignited on October 7 with an unprecedented attack by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, has left a trail of destruction. Official Israeli figures, as reported by AFP, indicate approximately 1,140 casualties, predominantly civilians. In response, Israel launched a military offensive resulting in over 25,105 deaths in Gaza, predominantly women and children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

The challenging terrain in Gaza has rendered search-and-rescue missions nearly impossible, leaving thousands presumed dead beneath the rubble. The healthcare system is in shambles, with overwhelmed hospitals and diminishing resources, forcing doctors to grapple with an increasing number of casualties.

In a bid to address the humanitarian crisis, the French warship Dixmude initiated medical assistance operations off the coast of El-Arish, near the Egyptian-Gaza border, in November. Patients and their families, desperate for help, gather in the vessel’s hull, where a somber atmosphere prevails. Nesma Abu Gayad, a resilient Palestinian, shares her ordeal of being severely injured in a shelling incident, highlighting the challenges faced by many in seeking treatment.

The French medical team aboard the Dixmude, led by doctors Marine and Salle, has treated 120 serious cases requiring extended hospitalization. However, this represents only a fraction of the more than 62,000 people injured in Gaza, according to the territory’s health ministry.

Expressing shock at the severity of injuries, Doctor Salle, a military medical professional, contrasts her experiences treating war wounds in the French military with the distressing injuries encountered on the warship.

The humanitarian efforts on the French warship stand as a crucial lifeline for wounded Palestinians, offering a glimpse of hope amid the ongoing crisis in the region.

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