The Turkish wing of the UK aid group Doctors Worldwide has sent a surgical mission to Israeli-blockaded Gaza to distribute medical supplies and perform free surgeries for Gazans in need.
The mission will remain in Gaza for 10 days where its team of 10 doctors, among them two brain surgeons, a urologist and a plastic surgeon, are slated to perform dozens of surgeries on Gazans who have been unable to receive medical care as a result of Israeli authorities’ near total ban on importing medical supplies to the territory.
Team member Dr. Ethem Güneren told the Cihan news agency on Monday that the group will perform the surgeries at two of Gaza city’s hardest hit public hospitals, stating that the group hopes to “determine, given the list of patients we’ve been given, what people’s medical needs are and help them.” Israel began its blockade of the Gaza territory in June 2007 after the Islamic Hamas movement was elected to power. Israel eased the blockade in 2010 as international condemnation grew, but the entry of any goods to Gaza remains tightly regulated. Citing the growing possibility of a humanitarian disaster, Gazan officials have called for an end to the blockade and urged the international community to step up humanitarian assistance and political pressure on Israel.