MSF team blocked from providing care for over five hours

ALT Nasser Shiyoukhi

This photo was taken on Saturday April 6 as MSF staff were trying to enter the village of Yatta.

The MSF team was refused access for over five hours before finally receiving authorisation to enter by the Israeli forces. They were then able to reach the maternity clinic in the village. Once there, MSF collected two teenagers, aged 15 and 16, who had broken legs after being shot.

The MSF team received permission to transfer the wounded to the Hebron hospital but en route the convoy, made up of an MSF car and a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance, was stopped again by Israeli forces. The patients, both on stretchers, were removed from the ambulance and thoroughly searched, including in their wounds. They were then returned to the ambulance and taken to Hebron Hospital, where they are now being treated.

On April 4, MSF raised the issue of the increasing number of obstructions the field staff are facing in caring for civilian populations. At a time when Palestinian civilians are being subjected to intense military pressure, MSF teams are facing severe restrictions in gaining access to the civilian populations. 

The dangers faced by medical staff trying to aid the population has had the most severe consequences. On March 10, MSF issued a press statement detailing the perils of trying to provide care under the present conditions. At that time, in just 15 days, 17 medical personnel had been killed during the strikes by the Israeli army. Numerous others had been injured. 

In the current conflict, ambulances have been crushed or shot at during the attacks. These attacks on medical personnel is a direct violation of international law that expressly protects medical services and the injured in times of conflict.

MSF has strongly condemned these attacks and has called on the Israeli authorities to take immediate measures to protect medical personnel and their facilities, and to allow them access to the injured and to the most needy.