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Turkiye says it plans evacuation of some wounded, sick Gazan children on Friday

November 23, 2023 at 8:12 pm

3 injured Gazan children, who were brought for treatment by an Turkish Ministry of Health ambulance plane from El Arish International Airport in Egypt, arrive at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkiye on November 23, 2023. [Emin Sansar – Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye plans to evacuate some wounded or sick Gazan children and young people on Friday as part of its third round of evacuation, Health Minister, Fahrettin Koca said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Turkiye has, so far, brought 150 people, mostly cancer patients and their companions, from Gaza to continue their treatment. It has also evacuated more than 100 Turks, Turkish Cypriots and their relatives this week.

Speaking at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport, Koca said three sick Gazan children had been brought to Turkiye on Thursday. He added that the children – a 2-year-old boy, as well as two girls aged 9 and 10 – would receive treatment in Turkiye.

The third round of evacuations, consisting of a group of 50 people, has been delayed due to issues regarding permissions for their releases, the Minister said, but added that those problems were now largely resolved and officials were working to complete the preparations.

“We expect the third evacuation to be tomorrow (Friday) and it will be an evacuation that will largely consist of children and young people,” Koca told reporters.

There are less cancer patients (in the group), but it will be an evacuation that mostly consists of wounded children and young people

he said, adding that none of the people in the list of 50 were in critical condition.

Ankara has sent some 800 metric tons of humanitarian aid, medical supplies, medicine and medical personnel to Egypt for Gazans. It has said it wants to set up a field hospital on the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing.

On Thursday, Koca said a coordination mechanism comprised of Turkish, Egyptian and Israeli officials was working to identify a suitable location for the field hospital.

A team formed with Israel, Egypt, and Turkiye’s coordination is in Egypt, especially to conduct field work. We are at the stage of identifying a location. We want to take action as soon as possible

he said.

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