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Gazans Get Medical Care On French Hospital Ship As Health System Collapses

Gaza's medical system has almost completely collapsed, and hospitals are overwhelmed.

El Arish, Egypt:

On a French warship off the coast of Egypt, wounded Palestinians are receiving medical care that is largely unavailable in the besieged Gaza Strip after months of war.

Abdulrahman Iyad, seated in a wheelchair, holds his hands in his lap and rests them gently near a pin protruding from his thigh.

He scrolls through his phone, looking at photos of his family, all of whom died in the explosion that tore off his face.

Iyad said the French helicopter carrier Dixmude, which is being used as a hospital to treat injured Palestinians, “flew through the air and crashed into the wall of a neighbor's house, causing his leg to become trapped under the collapsed ceiling. '' he told AFP. Civilian.

“When I woke up in the hospital, my uncles told me they had come to visit me, but I couldn't remember anything.”

Iyad's home, like much of the Palestinian territories where Israel has been at war with Hamas militants since early October, was reduced to rubble.

The fighting began on October 7, when the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented offensive against Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The attack killed about 1,140 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli statistics.

Israel responded with military strikes that killed at least 25,105 people in the Gaza Strip, most of them women and children, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip's health ministry.

Doctors said search and rescue operations had become nearly impossible in the area, with thousands of people trapped under the rubble and estimated to have died.

The health care system is almost completely collapsed, hospitals are overwhelmed, and doctors are forced to treat a growing number of casualties with dwindling resources.

'Shock' for injured civilians

French warships began treating patients in November off the coast of El Arish port, 50 kilometers west of the Egyptian border with Gaza.

In the hull, several patients and their families were gathered around a table, languidly playing a game of cards.

Among them was Nesma Abu Gayad, a bright-eyed Palestinian who was seriously injured when her home was shelled.

“Before arriving in Egypt, I received treatment in several hospitals in the Gaza Strip,” she told AFP, the stump of her right leg floating above the ground from her wheelchair.

“The next step is a prosthetic leg, but to get one I have to get a referral and go abroad.”

Marine, a French doctor on board the Dixmude, who only gave her first name, said the ship has received 120 patients so far, all of them with serious illness requiring long-term hospitalization. He said he was a patient.

This is just a small number of the more than 62,000 people injured in Gaza, according to the Gaza Strip Ministry of Health.

Another French doctor on board the Dixmude, Salle, said he was shocked by his injuries.

“I am in the military, so I treat war wounds for French and allied soldiers,” she said.

“But what shocked me was finding them on civilians.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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