France-operated ship to serve as floating hospital off Sinai coast this weekend — source

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

A ship dispatched by the government of France will dock off the coast of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula this week and will operate as a floating hospital for wounded Gazans with roughly 70 beds, a diplomat at Israel’s Embassy in Washington reveals to The Times of Israel.

While there had initially been proposals for ships to dock off the coast of Gaza, it is too damaged from the ongoing fighting for large boats to be able to dock there.

Israel is also supportive of a European Union effort for the establishment of a marine humanitarian corridor, with ships of aid first docking in Cyprus for inspections before continuing to Gaza, a second Israeli official says.

But the damage to Gaza’s port due to Israeli airstrikes complicates this proposal, which has been floated for years and never implemented.

A spokesperson for France’s embassy in Tel Aviv does not deny the developments but tells The Times of Israel, “The specifics of this operation, as well as the suggested humanitarian maritime corridor, are still subject to discussions among all relevant parties.”

Israel has been pushing for field hospitals and other alternatives to the existing medical centers in Gaza, saying that Hamas is operating command centers beneath them.

One of Hamas’s main command centers is believed to be located under Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, which the IDF has closed in on over the weekend.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Israel offered to supply fuel to the hospital, which is in dire need of it, but that the offer was rejected.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.