Palestinian wounded transferred to Iraq for medical treatment

The Iraqi Ministry of Health in a statement on Wednesday said it is actively monitoring the treatment of Palestinian wounded. [Photo from the Iraqi health ministry Facebook account]

In a significant humanitarian initiative, the Iraqi government has transferred dozens of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip wounded by indiscriminate Israeli attacks and were previously hospitalised in Egypt.

Late on Wednesday night, Baghdad welcomed the first group of Gaza’s wounded. The Iraqi Ministry of Health announced initiating their treatment under the “Help Gaza” campaign. The ministry disclosed that 27 Palestinian wounded individuals, along with 42 companions, have begun treatment at Dar Al-Tamr Hospital in the Medical City, receiving immediate medical attention upon arrival.

The New Arab contacted Saif al-Badr, the spokesperson for Iraq’s health ministry, but he declined to provide additional information beyond the official statements.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Iraqi Ministry of Health confirmed it is actively monitoring the treatment of injured Palestinians receiving medical care in Iraqi health facilities.

Deputy Minister of Health in Iraq, Hani Al-Aqabi, highlighted the critical condition of some arrivals, anticipating the subsequent arrival of additional wounded individuals. He emphasised the comprehensive preparations undertaken by the ministry to ensure seamless transportation, reception, and provision of medical personnel, aligning with the Iraqi Prime Minister’s directives.

A special military transport plane belonging to the Iraqi Air Force facilitated the transfer of wounded individuals from Egypt to Baghdad, as depicted in released photos by the ministry. Dr. Ayham Al-Omari from the Medical City Hospital emphasised Iraq’s readiness to receive hundreds more in the future, reaffirming the nation’s commitment to aiding the wounded, particularly women and children affected by the atrocities in Gaza.

This Iraqi initiative comes amidst the deteriorating healthcare system in the Gaza Strip, targeted by Israeli forces in a devastating war since 7 October 2023.

Official data from the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza revealed more than  79,652 Palestinian casualties and 35,562 dead since then, with thousands more suffering from various health conditions, including cancer and chronic diseases, urgently requiring treatments unavailable in the besieged territory.

While UN agencies and international humanitarian organisations have stressed the urgent need to evacuate the wounded and patients from Gaza, recent developments, particularly the Israeli invasion into Rafah, have complicated the situation further. The control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt by Israeli forces has hindered the passage of humanitarian aid and the evacuation of casualties and patients, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

In the face of Israel‘s ongoing attacks on Rafah and UNRWA, Iraq has pledged US$25 million to support Palestinian refugees through the agency. 

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