Qatar opens Gaza artificial limb, rehab center after delays

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Qatar is inaugurating the Gaza Strip’s first prosthetic hospital and disability rehab center after many delays.

Officials from the oil-rich Arab nation attended the opening Monday in Gaza City.

Qatar built the hospital after its then-emir visited Gaza in 2012. It was the first visit by a head of state since Hamas violently seized control of the territory from the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.

But a lack of qualified staff and funding prevented Hamas from operating the center.

Eventually, the Qatar Fund for Development trained the hospital’s 150-member staff locally and abroad. It has assumed the project’s expenses for now.

Health officials say the 100-bed hospital is vital for Gaza, where more than 130 Palestinians have lost limbs over the past year during ongoing protests along Gaza-Israel perimeter fence.

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