Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Geneva - Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are in need of specialised foreign doctors to help cope with some of the medical cases that resulted from the recent Israeli offensive in the enclave, the Palestinian health minister said on Monday.

"We need teams of war surgeons and others, like neurosurgeons, plastic surgeries, reconstruction surgeries," said Fathi Abu Moghli.

He said that since the Hamas takeover of the enclave, and the subsequent schism between the two parts of the Palestinian territory, he had less managerial control in Gaza, but was still fully monitoring the health system there.

"We want to receive volunteers, medical missions from abroad, and keep the services in-house," the minister said.


His ministry had issued a statement last month saying that it would no longer issue documentation for children to leave Gaza to travel for medical treatment.

Abu Moghli was in Geneva to participate in the official launch of a United Nations appeal for Gaza, which had been announced last week by Ban Ki-Moon, the secretary-general, during the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The appeal was for $613m, of which $154m was for food aid.

"We are here today not to debate the rights and wrongs, but to highlight the needs arising the recent events in Gaza," John Holmes, the UN's humanitarian chief, said during a news briefing.

To best meet these needs, Holmes said the crossing points into Gaza would need to be further opened so that humanitarian aid and staff could get in.

Political consideration should be kept out of the process of delivering essential goods to people in need, he added.


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