Providing medical assistance on the ground. Italy is “ready to build a field hospital for Gaza’s population,” as Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani told Radio24 on Friday. The project (which had been anticipated by Defence Minister Guido Crosetto) is being studied along with the United Arab Emirates, as the Prime Minister’s office confirmed: Rome and Abu Dhabi are working on a modular and expandable medical structure which could further expand with the contribution of other countries.
Egypt, Qatar and other Arab States are allegedly interested in joining in this initiative.
Italy and the UAE are also cooperating to treat 1,000 injured Gazan children in specialised paediatric hospitals in Genoa and Rome.
The details. The field hospital, staffed by military medics, will initially have 60 beds. According to Repubblica, both the Israelis and Palestinians will be responsible for its security – the details are still being hammered out, but talks are reportedly at an advanced stage. A suitable area has been identified in the south of the Gaza Strip, and Israeli authorities are also on board, with an official confirming the ongoing work on delivering humanitarian aid to the Gazan population “along with several countries, including Italy.”
We really needed that ceasefire. “Unfortunately, the situation in Gaza is worsening,” said Minister Tajani in the wake of Hamas unilaterally breaking the ceasefire. “We all insisted that there should be a few more days to get aid to the civilian population of Gaza, [but] Hamas, with yesterday’s attack and this morning’s rocket launches, wanted to make it clear that there is no willingness to dialogue with Israel, which reacted with great harshness by bombing the targets.”
Meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog on the sidelines of the COP28 in Dubai, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed Italy’s solidarity for Hamas’ most recent attacks and reiterated that Italians stand by the Israelis while continuing to work towards a lasting peace.
Aid via sea. Both PM Meloni and Minister Tajani recalled that an Italian hospital ship, the Vulcano, is currently off Gaza’s coast. It is slated to land on Sunday at the Egyptian port of Al Arish, 45 kilometres away from the Rafah border crossing into the Gaza Strip. It will soon host 60 military doctors tasked with treating badly injured people, who will be airlifted according to the urgency, in cooperation with the Egyptian Red Crescent.