France’s humanitarian aid for Gaza is becoming clearer. During his trip to the Middle East last week, Emmanuel Macron announced an envelope of 20 million euros for the Palestinians, in addition to the 63 million programmed before the crisis triggered by the Hamas attacks. This Thursday, November 2, at the microphone of Franceinfo, the Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu, indicated that Dixmude, one of the three amphibious helicopter carriers of the French military fleet, was “being equipped to be transformed into a hospital boat” in order to be sent off the coast of Gaza.
Diksmuide could contain “a certain number of hospital beds”, explained the minister. “The planning” for its sending “is being done,” assures Sébastien Lecornu. It will be fitted out from November 5, giving priority to sanitary space and should be ready to set sail in mid-November, according to BFMTV.
He will come to reinforce the Thunder, another helicopter carrier capable of supporting hospitals in Gaza, as presented by the French president, and which set sail from Toulon last week. In reality, this ship could only accommodate a handful of civilians and still does not accommodate any… “Given the armament of human resources, we are not able to use all of these premises. And for example, there are two operating theaters that we currently cannot arm simultaneously,” explains chief physician Florent to Franceinfo.
55 tons of material in the coming days
At the same time, France continues its air rotations. A humanitarian cargo plane, which left on October 28, landed at El-Arich airport in Egypt, near the Rafah border point, carrying 55 tonnes of humanitarian equipment on board. In these packages: medicines, tablets to make water drinkable, food supplements and tents.
“The needs are enormous and will continue to grow,” said At Parisian a source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to which the Quai d’Orsay was “considering” more aid “in the coming days”. A second French military plane, an A400M, landed in Egypt this Thursday, November 2 “to drop off several dozen tons of medical cargo.” Two other flights will follow “on November 3 and 5,” said the minister.
“We will also perhaps be able to deploy elements of our military medicine,” adds Sébastien Lecornu. And to conclude: “The army health service has advanced surgery branches, for example, with good expertise in war injuries. These are all objects of resources that France is putting on the table.”