Red Cross to Send Surgeons to Gaza

Red Cross to Send Surgeons to Gaza

JERUSALEM (AP) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross is sending surgeons, nurses, physiotherapists, drugs and equipment to Gaza to support the overburdened local health system, focusing on patients wounded by Israeli fire in recent border protests.

The Red Cross said on Thursday that out of more than 3,600 Palestinians wounded by gunfire since late March, about 1,350 will need between three to five surgeries each. The agency will open a 50-bed surgical unit and its surgeons will perform about half of an estimated 4,000 surgeries.

It says such a caseload would overwhelm any health system, and that the situation in Gaza is worsened by chronic shortages of drugs, equipment, and electricity.

Gaza has endured a border blockade by Israel and Egypt since the Islamic militant Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

(KA)