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JAF field hospitals: Enduring humanitarian legacy

Nov 17,2023 - Last updated at Nov 17,2023

The Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF) has consistently demonstrated a strong humanitarian commitment through its network of field hospitals, offering responsive assistance at local, regional, and international levels to alleviate the impacts of war, provide relief to those affected, and confront oppression.

A comprehensive analysis of JAF’s establishment of Jordanian field hospitals over a decade ago underscores its commendable humanitarian role towards friendly and brotherly nations, grounded in Jordan’s unwavering principles of fostering security, peace and tranquility.

These field hospitals have been deployed to 25 friendly and brotherly countries, including Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burundi, Congo, Pakistan Indonesia, Iran, Maldives, Tajikistan, and Erbil, with a total of over 58,030 JAF personnel serving in these facilities. Currently, JAF operates three field hospitals in Gaza, Jenin and Erbil, in addition to a surgical ward in Ramallah.

Since the beginning of the second millennium, two field hospitals in Eritrea and Sierra Leone, along with four hospitals in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burundi, and Congo, initially operating under the auspices of the United Nations, transitioned to the JAF’s oversight by the end of 2011. This transition began with the Jordanian field hospital in Libya.

The Jordanian field hospital in Lebanon, Beirut, inaugurated as per Royal directives following the Beirut port explosion on August 4, 2020, provides essential services with 84 beds, 15 intensive care beds, and two fully equipped operating rooms for various surgeries.

In 2006, Jordan’s breaking of the air blockade imposed on Lebanon after the July war sent a clear humanitarian message, emphasising that civilians, regardless of political affiliation, should not bear responsibility for political ambitions. It highlighted the humanitarian duty of the international community to protect and assist them in times of crisis.

The Jordanian Field Hospital “Gaza/1”, was the first Arab hospital to land in the Strip on January 26, 2009, three years after the blockade on Gaza was imposed. As per Royal directives, Jordan continued sending medical missions, totalling 76 missions. Despite damage caused by intense Israeli bombardment, the current hospital perseveres, fulfilling its humanitarian duties, as per His Majesty King Abdullah’s order for its continuation.

Remaining steadfast in its mission, the hospital underscores Jordan’s commitment to Gaza in the face of exceptionally difficult circumstances, marked by war and destruction aimed at depriving the people of Gaza of their human rights, especially timely access to appropriate treatment for the seriously wounded.

In a compelling scene, the Royal Jordanian Air Force aircraft, using parachutes, executed air drops of vital medical supplies to the Jordanian Field Hospital in Gaza, addressing shortages due to delays in assistance delivery through the Rafah border crossing.

Since the mission’s initiation and up to the Jordanian Field Hospital in Gaza/76, a total of 3,373,000 cases have been attended to. The Ramallah surgical station, operational since 2000, continues its vital role, while the Jenin surgical station, established in 2002, has been upgraded this year following Royal directives, transforming it into a fully-equipped field hospital.

The armed forces will remain committed to their national and humanitarian role, providing medical and health support to brothers and friends under the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah, the Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army.

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