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Friday, January 21, 2022

Qatar to build $24mn hospital in besieged Gaza Strip


The 355-bed capacity hospital will be the first in Rafah city, in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Qatari Committee for Reconstruction of Gaza signed a deal to begin the first phase of a project to construct a hospital in the south of Gaza.

Chairman Mohammed Al-Emadi signed the $5 million deal to launch the Hamad Bin Jassim General Hospital in Rafah, the committee announced on Saturday.

The total cost of the project is $24 million and will be implemented in the Sultan neighbourhood in western Rafah thanks to donations by the Jassim and Hamad Bin Jassim Charitable Foundation in Qatar.

Read also: Qatar Red Crescent launches $1.4mn ‘life-changing’ surgical services in Gaza

The 355-bed capacity hospital, which will be the first in Rafah, will be constructed on 50 acres and will include several buildings. Various speciality departments, including surgery, internal medicine, kidneys, and other medical services will be made available to residents of the besieged Strip.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health will take part in the implementation of the project.

Al Emadi confirmed Qatar’s intentions to continue its efforts to strengthen the health sector in the Rafah governorate to ensure patients receive proper medical services.

Earlier this month, the Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) launched a $1.4 million project aiding Gaza patients with critical medical conditions.

A 65-year-old man who was risk of a lower limb amputation, was among those saved as part of the initiative. He suffered from a previous injury which left him with an open wound that required a surgical intervention.

Prior to QRCS’ announcement, authorities in Doha confirmed a $360 million financial grant to the besieged Palestinian city for the year 2021, as per directives of the Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The aid plan will be used to pay salaries, help families in need, and for a power station as Gaza continues to suffer from stifling living conditions, including an ongoing electricity crisis, imposed by the Israeli occupation.

Qatar has been providing $20 million to Gaza each month since 2018 to help citizens living in the Strip, which has been described as the world’s largest open air prison. Additional funds have also been allocated for infrastructural development projects such as new roads and hospitals.

The announcements come as countries in the Arab world normalise relations with Israel. Despite ongoing rumours, Doha has maintained it will not establish relations with the Jewish state until the rights of Palestinians are upheld.

“Qatar believes that if Israel is committed to peace, to end the occupation, the two-state solution, and the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, and if there is Arab approval, we accept that,” Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told the Doha-based Al Jazeera Arabic news channel.

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