A Turkish medical NGO opened a branch in the Gaza Strip on Friday with the aim of assisting the blockaded Palestinian enclave’s ill-equipped medical institutions, Anadolu has reported. Speaking at the opening ceremony, the community head of Earth Doctors reminded the audience that the territory is besieged by land, sea and air.
“Nevertheless,” said Orhan Alimoglu, “we believe that our work will benefit local hospitals and the Palestinian health sector greatly.” He thanked the people of Turkey and other supporters for their donations towards the establishment of the Gaza branch.
Alimoglu explained that the NGO would occasionally dispatch doctors from Turkey to Gaza for difficult cases that Gaza doctors could not treat or which required competencies not available in the enclave. Earth Doctors will also support Gaza medical institutions with infrastructure, equipment and medicine, he added.
The Israeli occupation has blockaded the Gaza Strip since 2007, when Palestinian movement Hamas took full security control of the territory, ending around 18 months of post-election chaos fomented by a bloc within Fatah funded by Israel and the US. Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006. The subsequent blockade has deprived the territory’s 1.9 million inhabitants of even the most basic commodities.
Deputy Palestinian Health Minister in Gaza Yousef Abul-Rish thanked the Turkish NGO and people. The Turkish government and charities have, he pointed out, been supporting the Palestinian health sector for many years.