France sending warship to provide medical aid to Gaza
November 19, 2023 07:36 PM
France is preparing to send its Dixmude helicopter carrier to the eastern Mediterranean to offer medical assistance in Gaza, the office of the French president said Sunday.
The Dixmude will set sail "at the start of the week and arrive in Egypt in the coming days," President Emmanuel Macron's office said.
A charter flight carrying more than 10 tonnes of medical supplies is also planned for the start of the week.
"France will also contribute to the European effort with medical equipment on board European flights on November 23 and 30," the presidential office said.
It added that "France is mobilising all its available means to contribute to the evacuation of wounded and sick children requiring emergency care from the Gaza Strip to its hospitals".
Macron on Saturday spoke with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi about ongoing negotiations to free hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.
French defence minister Sebastien Lecornu was also Saturday in Qatar, which is leading the mediation efforts.
The French president and his Egyptian counterpart agreed on the "need to increase the number of trucks entering Gaza and to reinforce coordination to deliver humanitarian aid and treat the wounded," Macron's office said.
About 1,200 people, most of them civilians, were killed in Israel during Hamas's October 7 attack and around 240 taken hostage, according to Israeli officials.
In Gaza, around 12,300 people, more than 5,000 of them children, have been killed by Israel's response, officials in the Hamas-run territory have said.