France to send more medical supplies and hospital ship to Gaza


France will send more medical supplies and a second hospital ship to Gaza and is ready to welcome injured children in need of emergency care, President Emmanuel Macron's office said in a statement on Sunday. The UN has described the civilian death toll in Gaza as "staggering and unacceptable" and again urged a humanitarian ceasefire.

France will send an airplane with more than 10 tonnes of medical supplies at the start of the week, and will contribute to European Union medical aid flights on 23 and 30 November.

France is also preparing a second hospital ship, the helicopter-carrier Dixmude, which will arrive in Egypt in the coming days, the Elysée presidential palace said.

A first French helicopter carrier – the Tonnerre, which has about 60 beds and two operating blocs – has already been deployed in the region.

France will also deploy civil and military planes to evacuate sick or injured children from Gaza, the statement added.

In a social media post, Macron said that up to 50 children could be flown for treatment in hospitals in France "if useful and necessary".

Sick babies evacuated

The announcement followed a visit by medics from the UN's World Health Organization to the Al-Shifa hospital, the largest in Gaza.

The majority of deaths on both sides were civilians.

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