Dutch plan to help injured Gaza children not needed: Red Cross

A medic checks a Palestinian child in Gaza. Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP

The Red Cross has dismissed a Dutch suggestion that sick and wounded children from Gaza could be brought to the Netherlands for treatment, saying there is enough capacity to help them in Egypt.

Carla Jonkers, head of the agency’s international relief effort, told NOS radio on Thursday evening that treatment close to home would be the best option.

“My colleague visited the Egyptian border area at the weekend and he says there is enough capacity to care for them there,” she said. “That would be our preference because their carers can travel with them as well. It is closer to home, as is the language and culture.”

Dutch foreign affairs minister Hanke Bruins Slot said earlier in the day that the Netherlands was looking into how sick children could be brought to the Netherlands and that other EU governments have similar ideas.

Health minister Ernst Kuipers also said on social media that the Netherlands would be prepared to take in the children if requested to do so. No formal request has yet been made but Kuipers said he had told his Egyptian counterpart the Netherlands is ready to help.

According to Unicef, more than 4,000 children have been killed and 6,800 injured since the war in Gaza began. The local health services have been decimated by the bombing.

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