The IDF and Navy are on high alert ahead of the nearing Gaza flotilla. Fearing an attempt to stop the sail from reaching the Strip would result in casualties, the military has decided to convert mess halls on two missile boats into operating rooms, in order to treat casualties at sea.
Ynet learned Thursday that the decision stemmed from the lessons learned from the first flotilla and the military's desire to offer immediate medical attention for the injured – if there are any.
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Military medevacs will also be at hand, in case the injured need to be airlifted to hospitals in Israel.
"This is the type of operating room we usually deploy in a state of emergency, like war," a senior military source told Ynet. "In light of the nature of the flotilla, we have decided it would be best to have this option available."
The operating rooms have been set up in the mess halls of two missile ships. They will feature a full medical staff, including surgeons and anesthesiologists, and will be fully equipped to perform surgery at sea.
"Surgical procedures at sea are very complex, mostly due to sailing conditions. We would prefer to airlift anyone injured to a hospital, naturally, but if we need to administer life-saving measures we won't hesitate to do so," he said.
As part of the military's preparations for the flotilla, the IDF Medical Corps will deploy medical teams both as sea and at the Ashdod Port, under the supervision of the Chief Naval Medical Officer.
"There are a lot of unknown factors here," the military source said, "which his why we've expanded the issue of control, so we would be able to get a better reading of the situation in real time."
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