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Source: MSF

Sydney,11 November 2023: Since this morning, many MSF medical staff have stopped working in supported hospitals in Gaza city because they are either attacked or at risk of being attacked at any time. People are afraid to go to the hospitals.

Attacks on medical facilities, ambulances, staff and patients must stop. Al-Shifa hospital is the main operational health facility in Gaza city providing emergency and surgical care, with hundreds of patients and civilians inside.

“I was heading to Al-Shifa hospital to work this morning when the facility was hit. All of us were horrified, some of us threw ourselves to the ground. I saw dead bodies, including women and children. This scene was horrific and made all of us cry. Medical staff were terrified, trying to save their lives and their families. Some of them remain inside the facility, while others are leaving to the South of Gaza along with displaced people.”

Maher Sharif, MSF nurse in Al-Shifa hospital.

Over the last few hours, the attacks against Al-Shifa Hospital have dramatically intensified. MSF staff at the hospital have reported a catastrophic situation inside just few hours ago.

We are extremely concerned about the safety of patients and the medical staff. Patients are still in the hospital, some in critical condition and unable to move, there are caretakers still inside the facility.

We urgently reiterate our calls to stop the attacks against hospitals and for the protection of medical facilities, medical staff and patients.

“There are a lot of patients already operated on and they cannot walk. They cannot evacuate. They need an ambulance to remove them, and [we] don’t have ambulances to evacuate all of these patients. If you have two injured or three injured from your family, you cannot carry them because they refuse to let you go by bus or the car. So you must walk.

We cannot leave. We cannot leave because from the morning until now, we operated on [about] 25 patients. If I am not here or the other surgeon, who will take care of the patients? […] There is a patient who needs surgery. There is a patient who’s already asleep in our department. We cannot evacuate ourselves and [leave] these people inside. As a doctor. I swear to help the people who need help. So if they want to bomb me, I will not be better than the others.”

MSF surgeon at Al-Shifa Dr. Mohammed Obeid.  

“This is a war against hospitals, this is the fourth attack on hospitals in the last 48 hours, and we have lost all contact with our medical teams working on the ground. We need a ceasefire right now, the Israeli military cannot continue to make Gaza into a graveyard for children. Saving lives right now means first and foremost sparing the lives that remain, the wounded, and the hundreds of newly orphaned kids.”

Arunn Jegan, Humanitarian affairs lead, Medecins Sans Frontieres Australia.

Link to interview with Dr Obeid from  UK’s Channel 4

The Australian section of MSF was established in 1995 and is one of 24 international MSF offices around the world committed to delivering medical humanitarian assistance to populations in crisis. Every year around 150 Australians and New Zealanders are sent on assignment by Médecins Sans Frontières Australia. MSF delivers medical care based on need alone and operates independently of government, religion or economic influence and irrespective of race, religion or gender. For more information visit