Sick, Injured Children from Gaza Arrive in Italy for Treatment
At least ten sick and injured Palestinian children have reportedly arrived in Italy to be hospitalized in the country, according to the Italian Defense Ministry.
The children, who suffered injuries during Israel’s onslaught on the Gaza Strip, were to be flown together with family members on a military plane to the Ciampino Airport, near Rome, reports the Anadolu news agency.
According to the report, the Ministry said the children had crossed the Rafah border into Egypt three days ago and were initially treated by Egyptian doctors in local hospitals.
In corso operazione #Difesa per trasporto bambini palestinesi e familiari da #Gaza verso ospedali italiani. Decollato da #Egitto velivolo C-130J #AeronauticaMilitare con i primi bimbi che giungeranno in Italia in serata. Ulteriori partiranno a bordo di #NaveVulcano… pic.twitter.com/lNVhnyCiej
— Ministero Difesa (@MinisteroDifesa) January 29, 2024
“I’d like to express my gratitude to Egyptian health officials for their support, which made this humanitarian mission possible,” Italy’s Defense Minister, Guido Crosetto, said.
“It is only through international cooperation that we can address such big challenges and guarantee the safety of the most vulnerable.”
In Italy, the children will be treated “in the most important pediatric hospitals, including the Vatican-run Bambino Gesù in Rome”, the Vatican News reports.
L’arrivo a Ciampino del C-130 dell’Aeronautica militare con a bordo i bambini palestinesi che saranno curati in Italia. Sono stati accolti dal vice premier e ministro degli Esteri, Tajani #ANSA https://t.co/9rxgSrUdnx pic.twitter.com/1jeWXLowms
— Agenzia ANSA (@Agenzia_Ansa) January 29, 2024
More to be Treated
The report said Italy is the first European country to launch an international rescue operation for the victims of the war in Gaza.
It also quoted the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, who was present at Ciampino airport, as saying, “We have worked intensively with the Israeli authorities, with the Palestinian national authorities, and with the Egyptian authorities. We concluded the negotiations on Thursday in Israel. It is a commitment we have made.”
The report also states Army General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo as saying that it will soon “be the turn of the departure for Italy of the hospital ship ‘Vulcano,’ currently at anchor on the Egyptian coast.”
Sfuggiti alle terribili condizioni di #Gaza, sono arrivati i primi bambini palestinesi che verranno curati in Italia. Fanno parte di un’operazione umanitaria che nei prossimi giorni porterà nel nostro Paese un centinaio di bambini palestinesi feriti o malati.
Monia Venturini pic.twitter.com/43fGei2UHL
— Tg1 (@Tg1Rai) January 30, 2024
It will set sail on January 31 with about fifty accompanied minors on board and in 4-5 days will moor in a central port depending on where the children will be hospitalized, the Vatican News reports.
In February, an airlift will then start to take other children currently hospitalized in Cairo to several Italian hospitals.
“We will bring everyone we can,” assured Figliuolo.
According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 26,751 Palestinians have been killed, and 65,636 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.
Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.