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Gaza sends doctors to West Bank in 'gesture of solidarity'

Eight doctors specialising in surgery and anaesthesia have left Gaza to treat those wounded in the occupied West Bank
A Palestinian Red Crescent worker washes his ambulance after carrying wounded in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, on 31 July 2014 (AFP)

Palestinian doctors from the besieged Gaza Strip have reportedly made their way to hospitals in the occupied West Bank in order to help out with treating their compatriots wounded by Israeli forces.

"There is a quick coordination to send a medical team from Gaza, made up of eight people specialising in surgery and anaesthesia to support their colleagues in hospitals in the West Bank," spokesman of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf Al-Qudra, was quoted saying on Monday by the Shehab News Agency.

On Tuesday, Qudra tweeted that "a group of doctors from the Gaza Strip have arrived in Ramallah, to join and support their colleagues in treating the wounds of the sons of our steadfast people."

It is not clear how the team of doctors from Gaza have managed to secure travel permits to the West Bank, as both territories are separated from each other by Israel.

But the head of the team, Fathi Abu Warda, said that the doctors have entered Israel through Gaza's Beit Hanoun crossing, Sky News Arabia reported on Monday.

The team includes two surgeons, anaesthetists, and a fracture specialist - all "highly experienced" due to their work in the past three Israeli wars against Gaza, Abu Warda added.  

Gaza, which is under a tight Israeli-Egyptian siege, itself is in dire need of medical aid, especially since Israel's military offensive against the Strip during the summer of 2014.

"It is more of a gesture of solidarity," Gaza-based photojournalist, Mohammed Asad, told Middle East Eye, adding that the medics were not expected to make a significant impact on the ground.

The move was met with positive reactions on social media, although there were some who commented with humour.

"This is [happening] instead of the West Bank sending doctors to Gaza … how great you are, Gaza," commented one person on the Facebook page of Shehab News Agency.

"God bless you, people of Gaza, the most honourable people on earth," said another commentator.

"Hahaha, the people of the West Bank are gone," joked another, humorously suggesting that the doctors would do more harm than good.

"You are welcome, but what [gifts] will you bring for us with you?" another joked.

The West Bank and East Jerusalem have witnessed mounting unrest since the beginning of October, in what some are now referring to the Third Intifada against Israeli occupation.

Gaza too has witnessed a number of protests near Israel's border, which resulted in the deaths of a number Palestinians by Israeli fire.

The uprising has also spread to inside Israel, where citizens of Palestinian origin have been more actively involved than during the previous intifadas. 

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