Live updates: Follow the latest news on Israel-Gaza
A Jordanian field hospital on Monday became the first medical facility of its kind to enter the Gaza Strip since Israel began its bombardment of the coastal enclave on October 7, Jordan’s royal court and the official Petra news agency said.
Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah flew to the Egyptian coastal city of Al Arish earlier to oversee the transfer of the 41-bed hospital into Gaza. On board the same aircraft was a 145-strong team of doctors and nurses in addition to administrative staff.
Images posted on Prince Hussein’s official Facebook page showed him in military fatigues speaking to Egyptian army officers in Al Arish.
The hospital was ferried on 40 lorries that crossed into Gaza through the Rafah border crossing in the north-eastern corner of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, about 50 kilometres east of Al Arish.
The hospital will be set up in Khan Younis in the southern part of Gaza.
At least 13,000 Palestinians, including about 5,000 children, have been killed since the Israel-Gaza war began, according to local tallies.
Another 30,000 have been wounded and more than half of the territory’s 2.3 million residents displaced amid the Israeli onslaught. Entire blocks have been wiped out in built-up urban areas.
“The hospital … will receive the wounded and the sick, under catastrophic conditions which southern hospitals are experiencing, with the influx of hundreds of wounded each day and continued aggressive aerial and artillery strikes,” said Mohammed Zaqout, director general of Gaza hospitals.
The war broke out when Hamas militants attacked southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, while about 240 were taken hostage, according to Israeli officials.
“The dispatch of the hospital is a continuation of Jordan’s efforts to stand by our Palestinian brethren and provide medical services to the sick and wounded of the Israeli aggression on Gaza,” the Jordanian news agency said.
It said the hospital included emergency services, an intensive care unit, baby incubators, a lab and a pharmacy as well as X-ray machines.
Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1994, but relations between the two former enemies have been fraught with tension over the latest Gaza conflict, with Jordanian leaders repeatedly calling for a ceasefire.
Egypt in 1979 became the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel.