GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Mayor of Rafah Subhi Radwan announced on Sunday that the Palestinian government has decided to fund a $24 million medical complex in Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip.
In a news conference in Gaza City, Radwan said the government had earmarked 40 dunams (10 acres) of land for the project.
He added that designs and blueprints have been prepared and Rafah municipality would soon begin excavation work on the site.
The mayor thanked Palestinian Minister of Health Jawad Awwad for his efforts, as well as those by social media activists who launched a Twitter campaign called “#Rafah-needs-hospital.”
Many users on twitter expressed their support for the campaign.
Two hospitals currently provide medical services to the population of Rafah district, Abu Yousif al-Najjar Hospital and the European Hospital.
However, while the former is limited by a lack of equipment, the second is difficult to access, especially during wars, because of its location near the northeastern borders with Israel.
Abu Yousif al-Najjar Hospital was shelled by Israeli forces during the 50-day war between Hamas and Israel last summer.
Across the Gaza Strip, 17 out of 32 hospitals as well as 50 out of 97 primary health centers were damaged during the conflict, according to a UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA) report last September.
Six hospitals were forced to close during the conflict and four primary health centers were totally destroyed.
Large swathes of the Gaza Strip remain in ruin following the war, which killed more than 2,300 Gazans and left 100,000 homeless.