MSF is asking the Israeli army and Hamas for a safe passage for its staff and all civilians to leave the epicentre of fighting; meanwhile a new MSF team has entered Gaza through Rafah
Sydney/Jerusalem,15 November: This morning* bullets were fired into one of three MSF premises located near AlShifa hospital and sheltering MSF staff and their families – over 100 people, including 65 children, who ran out of food since yesterday night.
We’ve been trying to evacuate them for the past three days. MSF is asking the Israeli army and Hamas for a safe passage for them to leave the epicentre of intense fighting currently ongoing in Gaza city.
Thousands of civilians, medical staff and patients are currently trapped in hospitals and other locations under fire in Gaza city: they must be protected and afforded safe passage if they wish. Above that, there must be a total and immediate ceasefire.
Many of our Palestinian colleagues continue to work tirelessly in support of the local health authorities across Gaza, where people with horrific wounds and severe burns are flooding the hospitals as a result of the continuous bombing.
An MSF team of 15 international and national staff entered Gaza from Egypt via the Rafah crossing point. They will aim to support medical and surgical capacity in the Strip, where the healthcare infrastructure has collapsed, and medics are utterly exhausted.
They will be initially based in the southern part of the Strip. Unless a ceasefire is implemented, obtaining continuous and unhindered access to people across Gaza will remain a major challenge for our team.
Delivery of humanitarian aid to the North of the Strip remains extremely difficult and dangerous due to the insecurity and the unpredictability of the bombardments and ground warfare.
“We do everything we can to alleviate suffering in this catastrophic situation. We insist on our call for a ceasefire as an indispensable condition to end the carnage and allow aid to reach those who need it.” Christophe Garnier, Project Coordinator.
We urge the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Member states of the League of Arab States, Member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation and the European Union who have repeatedly called for the respect of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to take action to ensure a ceasefire now.
The horrors unfolding before our eyes in Gaza clearly show that calls for restraint and adherence to IHL have gone unheeded. Working purposefully to reach a ceasefire is the most effective way to ensure the protection of civilians.
*Denotes Gaza time (morning of 14th November)
MSF Australia was established in 1995 and is one of 24 international MSF sections committed to delivering medical humanitarian assistance to people in crisis. In 2022, more than 120 project staff from Australia and New Zealand worked with MSF on assignment overseas. 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 msf.org.au