UK and Welsh Government should offer to treat seriously injured children from Gaza – Plaid Cymru
Plaid Cymru has urged the UK and Welsh Governments to offer hospital treatment to seriously injured Palestinian children, after the UK Government suspended funding to the Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) on Saturday.
Major donors to UNRWA suspended funding the organisation after allegations that around 12 of its 30,000 employees were suspected of involvement in the 7 October attacks in Israel by Hamas.
UNRWA serves the civic and humanitarian needs of 5.9 million people in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and refugee camps in neighbouring countries.
UNRWA, which has 13,000 employees in Gaza, operates primary healthcare clinics, distributes humanitarian aid, and provides various other services.
The healthcare system in Gaza has nearly collapsed after more than three months of intense Israeli bombardment and fighting.
On 25 January, seven wounded Palestinians arrived in France for medical treatment, marking the second evacuation to the country after two other Palestinian children arrived on December 28. Italy also announced on 24 January that it would offer hospital treatment for 100 Palestinian children from Gaza.
Speaking in the House of Commons today (29 January) Plaid Cymru’s International Affairs spokesperson, Hywel Williams MP said: “Two months ago I asked the Government if they would consider providing specialist treatment for the wounded children of Gaza in UK hospitals, as is often done when there is a natural disaster or a cruel war abroad.
“The minister at the time responded saying that the choice was in fact to increase in-country aid, and he himself referred to the increase of £60 million pounds in his statement.
“But given the destruction of hospitals in Gaza and the dire state of medical facilities, will he reconsider that stance?”
In response, Andrew Mitchell MP, Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said that “on the critical subject that he raises, about trying to ensure that we help all those who are hurt and wounded, and in particular children, he may rest assured we are looking at all aspects of that”.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.