Italy sends hospital ship to aid Palestinians

AFP , Thursday 9 Nov 2023

Italy is sending a hospital ship to the Middle East to aid the Palestinian population, which is expected to arrive "in a couple of days", the defence ministry told AFP Thursday.

Gaza City
Fire and smoke rise following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, 8 October, 2023. AFP



The navy ship "Vulcano", which is equipped with operating rooms, is carrying 30 medical staff and is heading initially to Cyprus, according to details published by the ministry.

It is expected to arrive "in a couple of days, weather permitting", a defence ministry spokesman told AFP, without confirming how close the ship would get to Gaza.

Defence Minister Guido Crosetto said Wednesday the navy ship would be followed "in the next few days" by an army field hospital; efforts he said were "a concrete sign of the humanitarian aid our country is sending to the Gaza Strip".

The ministry is ready to send out other medical personnel once the hospital is up and running, including three anaesthetists, two surgeons and eight critical care nurses, it said in a statement.

After more than a month of intense Israeli bombardment, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians remain trapped in a dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, without enough food and water.

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