Middle East, Europe

Norway to accept patients from Gaza: Premier

'Humanitarian situation in Gaza is catastrophic,' says Jonas Gahr Store

Leila Nezirevic  | 27.06.2024 - Update : 28.06.2024
Norway to accept patients from Gaza: Premier


Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store confirmed Thursday that the Nordic country will accept and treat injured Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, local media reported.

Norway will participate in the international effort to help Palestinians who badly need hospital treatment, according to media outlet VG.

The announcement comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) together with the EU said 9,000 Palestinians need urgent medical evacuation by the end of 2024, amid a brutal Israeli offensive on Gaza.

In addition, Norway will contribute to aircraft transporting Palestinian patients to other countries.

“In this way, we can contribute to helping many more people than we have the capacity to bring to Norway for treatment,” Store told VG.

The government decided that up to 20 patients with relatives from Gaza can be flown to Norway for treatment in Norwegian hospitals, the prime minister said.

“The effort with medical evacuation from Gaza must be compatible with the Ukraine effort,” he emphasized.

“The humanitarian situation in Gaza is catastrophic. The health system has collapsed. Therefore, the most important thing Norway can do is to support the health and humanitarian work in Gaza and the surrounding areas, for example by strengthening the hospitals,” Store highlighted.

Last month, Norway officially recognized Palestine as a state.

Already in December last year, health organizations and the UN warned that the healthcare system in Gaza has collapsed.

Today, only 12 of Gaza's 36 hospitals are partially operational, according to the latest reports.

More than 37,700 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and over 86,400 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Almost nine months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on 6 May.

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