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United Arab Emirates flight with Gaza victims: “I feel relieved,” says a pregnant Palestinian in Abu Dhabi – News


Soumiya. — Photo by Shihab/KT

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2023, 6:57 p.m.

Last update: Saturday, November 18, 2023, 11:43 p.m.

A 36-week pregnant Palestinian woman is relieved after being evacuated to Abu Dhabi on a special flight on Saturday morning.

Soumiya, who has leg injuries, landed at Abu Dhabi International Airport from Egypt’s El Arish International Airport along with her one-and-a-half-year-old son, Fati Ala, who has severe burns.

Fati Ala — Photo by Shihab/KT

Fati Ala — Photo by Shihab/KT

“I feel relieved to have come this far. I’m happy to be safe. “My children are safe here, which is the most important thing right now,” she said at the airport.

Soumiya is among the first group of nine patients who arrived in Abu Dhabi after managing to cross the Rafah border, the only way to enter Egypt from the Gaza Strip.

“I hope to receive the treatment I so desperately need. I thank the leadership, the medical fraternity, the volunteers and everyone involved in this mission.”

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She, along with her son, was among the first patients to be transported from the flight to a Response Plus Medical ambulance waiting to be transferred to Burjeel Medical City (BMC), Burjeel Holdings’ flagship quaternary care hospital.

Other hospitals that were part of the mission include NMC Healthcare and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, part of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) network, which is a subsidiary of PureHealth.

Dr Zainul Aabideen.  — Photo by Ashwani Kumar/KT

Dr Zainul Aabideen. — Photo by Ashwani Kumar/KT

‘The first mission was a great success’

Doctors from the medical team shared the struggle they witnessed during the mission while emphasizing the importance of the care the UAE provides to children and families. Dr Zainul Aabideen, who was part of the medical team that accompanied the patients on the flight, said the first mission was a great success.

“We went to El Arish airport on Friday night. Our team leaders were in constant contact with the hospital and officials. This mission is a great model of how effective teamwork under our great leadership can provide respite and care to those who need it,” said Dr Aabideen, Consultant and Head of Pediatric Haematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation at BMC.

“The patients in the first group are stable and will be provided with maximum medical care. More than their physical injuries, they are emotionally disturbed. There are children whose parents died in the bombing and have broken legs. They have been admitted to the hospital for a month.”

Meanwhile, the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has issued a new directive to airlift 1,000 Palestinian cancer patients for treatment in UAE hospitals. Earlier, Sheikh Mohamed had announced the decision to provide medical care to 1,000 Palestinian children and their families in the country’s hospitals.


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