El-Arish, Egypt — The U.S. plans to help establish a field hospital inside the war-torn Gaza Strip for civilians wounded amid the, the U.S. Agency for International Development announced Tuesday. USAID Administrator Samantha Power made the announcement — part of a new $21 million aid pledge for Gaza and the West Bank — as she arrived on a U.S. military plane carrying humanitarian supplies that flew into Egypt on the 60th day of the war, which looked .
The plane — the second military flight to deliver U.S. humanitarian assistance for Gaza since the conflict was sparked by Hamas’ brutal Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel — ferried some 36,000 pounds of food and medical supplies to the northeast Egyptian city of El-Arish, about 30 miles from the Rafah border crossing into Gaza.
It was not immediately clear when USAID hoped the new field hospital would be up and running, what other nations or organizations were helping to fund it, or exactly where in Gaza it would be located. The agency told CBS News it would be staffed by personnel from nongovernmental organizations working in partnership with the U.S. government.
Following the collapse of a week-long cease-fire in Gaza that saw Hamas free dozens of Israeli hostages in exchange for the release of more than 200 Palestinian prisoners, the Israeli military has expanded its ground and air operations in the Palestinian territory this week. It’s focused in recent days around the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, home of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.
CBS News correspondent Charlie D’Agata reported on Tuesday, however, that even Rafah has been hit by Israeli airstrikes this week. In the far south of Gaza, Rafah is one of the places that the Israeli army had for weeks urged Gazan civilians to flee for their safety, as it pounded the northern part of the territory.
Officials in Hamas-run Gaza and from international aid organizations say the territory’s health care infrastructure has been largely rendered unusable by Israel’s airstrikes and limited fuel supplies. Daily images from Gaza’s packed hospitals show staff frantically trying to treat people wounded by strikes, many of them children, in corridors and on blood-stained floors.