Iraq says ready to treat any number of injured Palestinians

Iraq's health ministry has declared the country's hospitals are ready to receive any Palestinians wounded in the ongoing Israeli assault on the Gaza strip and in violence against demonstrators in the occupied West Bank. 

In a statement reported by local media on Thursday, a spokesman for Baghdad’s health ministry said that Iraqi health organisations are prepared to treat "any number of injured Palestinians" directly and provide health assistance to those treated elsewhere. 

"We have assembled a specialist ministry medical team to send to Palestine or anywhere else who can offer a range of medical services," said Dr Saif al-Badr. According to the latest figures, at least 230 Gazans, including 65 children, have been killed since the Israeli military launched its destructive bombing campaign on May 10. 

At least 1,710 have also been recorded wounded in the besieged enclave. In the West Bank and occupied an East Jerusalem, thousands more Palestinians have been injured as Israeli forces have brutally cracked down on solidarity protests. 

Egypt has opened its border crossing with Israel to allow wounded Gazans to be treated in its hospitals and to deliver aid, sending 65 tonnes of medical aid by Monday. It has said it will make space in 11 hospital nationwide, creating a capacity of over 1,800 beds. 

Iraq’s offer of help comes despite woes gripping the country’s dilapidated health sector. Already ground down by decades of war and sanctions, Baghdad's health authorities have grappled a severe second wave of coronavirus and widespread vaccine hesitancy. A devastating fire in a Baghdad Covid-19 hospital killed more than 80 people last month, prompting the health minister to resign.

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