The Mayor of the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank has said a Jordanian field hospital will be set up within one to two days in the city. Sami Hijjawi’s announcement came as a surprise to local residents, prompting speculation and fear about its timing.
Hijjawi explained that the hospital is part of the aid provided by the Jordanian government. He pointed out that another hospital is going to be set up in Jenin, and a third will be set up in Hebron. Although he admitted that he does not know of any other reason why the field hospitals are being established, he believes that the intention is simply to support the Palestinian health sector.
The hospital in Nablus is being set up in the only green area in the city, with at least four nearby. According to the mayor, it is the Jordanian government which has chosen the location based on “security and logistical considerations, where it would be far from the usual points of contact and confrontation with the Israeli occupation forces” on the eastern side of the city.
The field hospital will have 18 specialised surgeons and between 60 to 70 permanent doctors and nurses, as well as administrative staff. Hijjawi denied speculation that it is the volatile political situation in and around Nablus which is the reason for establishing the hospital. Daily raids by Israeli occupation forces have been witnessed for a long time, he said.