Turkey is waiting for approval from Egyptian authorities to set up field hospitals near Gaza for those fleeing the besieged and bombarded Palestinian territory, the health minister said on Wednesday.
“We have made all preparations to establish 20 field hospitals at El Arish Airport, in the area close to the Rafah border gate” in Egypt, Fahrettin Koca said on X, formerly Twitter.
“We are in close dialogue with the Egyptian and Palestinian health ministries on all these issues. We are waiting for security to be ensured and permissions to be granted,” he said.
Israel has relentlessly pounded Gaza in retribution for the worst attack in the country’s history, when Hamas gunmen stormed across the border on October 7, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and taking more than 230 hostages, according to Israeli officials.
Israel’s retaliatory bombing campaign has killed 8,796 people, mainly women and children, according to Hamas-run Gaza’s health ministry.
The first ambulances carrying wounded Palestinians from Gaza have entered Egypt where they were dispatched to various hospitals for treatment.
A vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, Turkey has criticized Israel for its bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Turkish authorities have so far sent planes loaded with medicine and other aid to Egypt’s El Arish Airport for delivery to Gaza.
The health minister said Turkey was planning to send a floating hospital to Gaza.