The MP for Scarborough and Whitby said he has made representations over the case of a local doctor whose father is trapped in Gaza.

Sir Robert Goodwill said he has “every sympathy” for a local NHS doctor and his family’s efforts to try and arrange the medical evacuation of a relative from Gaza.

Dr Mohammed Balousha, an NHS trauma and orthopaedic doctor at Scarborough Hospital, has been gathering support to try and arrange the medical evacuation of his 61-year-old father through the Rafah crossing into Egypt.

The Northern Echo: Dr Mohammed Balousha and Khaled BaloushaDr Mohammed Balousha and Khaled Balousha (Image: LDRS)

The father of six and a grandfather of eight suffered a severe brain injury whilst searching for food for his grandchildren. The life-saving surgery that he needs is not available in the region due to the complexity of the treatment.

Dr Balousha said that the full cost of his father’s treatment had been secured and that the only remaining obstacle was crossing the border, which he said requires government-level coordination.

Sir Robert, the MP for Scarborough and Whitby, said that the absence of diplomatic relations in Gaza made the situation “very difficult” and added that he had “made what representations we can”.

The Northern Echo: Khaled BaloushaKhaled Balousha (Image: LDRS)

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “The problem we have in Gaza is that we don’t have diplomatic representation – and we’ve had many cases over the years where we’ve had people stranded for whatever reason – so it’s very hard indeed.

“And actually, if we want to get that situation resolved, the terrorist group Hamas needs to release the hostages. That is the best way to de-escalate the situation and that way we can have a return to some degree of normality and then situations like this need not occur.”

Sir Robert added: “Certainly, we are aware of the issue and we’ve made what representations we can.

The Northern Echo: Khaled Balousha and familyKhaled Balousha and family (Image: LDRS)

“It is very difficult and I absolutely have every sympathy for the stress that the family is going through.”

Dr Balousha said he had been in touch with various national and international agencies and departments but had not been able to secure his father’s evacuation.

Get the latest news, sports, and entertainment delivered straight to your device, for just £3 for three months! Click here

Most read:

An online petition he started last week has already gathered more than 2,500 signatures.

Speaking to the LDRS, Dr Balousha said: “I’m a doctor here. I save lives and when I’m on call, I’m the first surgical doctor who accepts severely ill patients.

“I’m just asking the UK to take a humanitarian approach. It’s just so distressing.”

Khan Younis, where Mr Balousha is currently in a field hospital, has seen the heaviest fighting of the year and is sheltering hundreds of thousands of people who fled the north earlier in the war, according to Reuters.