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Conflict in Gaza

Gaza-Israel war

War in Gaza:: find out how we're responding
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Info on response and situation last updated: 31 May 2024.
Social media updates last updated: 6 June 2024.

Since war broke out between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, heavy shelling and airstrikes have destroyed large parts of the Gaza Strip.

Decades of repression and conflict, and an Israel-imposed blockade from 2007 on the Gaza Strip, Palestine, exploded on 7 October 2023 as Hamas attacked Israel on a large scale. In response, Israel has launched massive attacks on Gaza.  

Over 1.7 million people have been displaced in Gaza, with many people being displaced multiple times. In Gaza, hospitals and other health facilities have been constantly under attack, leaving many not functioning. Food, water, and medicines are scarce. People are trying to survive in extremely dire circumstances.

The Israeli offensive on Rafah, and the closure of the Rafah crossing, is making the delivery of humanitarian assistance and provision of medical care near impossible.

We call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the urgent scale up of humanitarian aid. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and injured. Today, nowhere is safe in Gaza.

MSF response in Gaza, the West Bank and Egypt

MSF currently operates in two hospitals (Al-Aqsa hospital, Nasser Hospital), one clinic in Gaza City, and five healthcare facilities, including one in Al-Mawasi in Rafah, two in Khan Younis, and two in Gaza’s Middle Area.

Our teams are offering surgical support, wound care, physiotherapy, post-partum care, basic healthcare, vaccinations, and mental health services. However, systematic sieges and evacuation orders on various hospitals are pushing our activities onto an ever-smaller territory and limiting our response.

South Gaza

Nasser hospital, Khan Younis - Nasser hospital is the main surgical centre in the south of the Gaza Strip. Working with the Ministry of Health, we focus on providing orthopaedic surgery and care in the burns unit, providing dressing changes and physiotherapy.

Al-Mawasi health posts, Rafah – In two health posts, our staff are providing outpatient services, including general consultations, vaccinations, reproductive health care services, pre- and post-natal care, changing dressings, physiotherapy sessions, mental health services, and health promotion. We also screen and treat malnutrition, and treat non-communicable diseases.

Khan Younis clinic – we provide basic medical care in Khan Younis.  

Al-Athar clinic, Al-Mawasi – we’re providing basic medical care to cover needs of a group of people who have set up their tents in the area.

There is no longer any MSF presence – because activities have stopped/closed, staff moved, or activities handed to the MoH – in European Gaza, Rafah Indonesian Field, Al-Najjar, and El-Emirati hospitals, nor in Al-Shaboura clinic nor the Tal Al-Sultan trauma stabilisation point.

Our teams have been distributing 400,000 litres water per day covering more than 100,000 people per day through 30 water points in the areas of Al-Mawasi and Khan Younis. We provide around 300m3 of clean water a day in different locations in Rafah.

Middle Area

Al-Aqsa hospital, Deir Al-Balah – we provide trauma surgery, advanced wound care, post-operative wound care, physiotherapy, health promotion and mental health support.

Al-Martyrs clinic, Deir Al-Balah - an MSF team provides wound care and malnutrition screening.

Clinic, Al-Hekker – we provide general consultations, vaccination, reproductive health services, and change wound dressings. We also provide mental health services, including psychological first aid, individual and family counselling sessions, and psychoeducation and health promotion activities.

North Gaza

MSF clinic (near Al-Shifa), Gaza City – our clinic close to the Al-Shifa hospital has been damaged, the fence destroyed, and all the windows broken. Since then, we have repaired the clinic and activities have re-started, where the team focuses on wound dressings and physiotherapy.

There is no MSF staff in either Al-Awda or Al-Shifa hospitals. Israeli forces destroyed the latter in March following a two-week siege.

Supplies/logistics

As of end-May, we have brought a total of 76 trucks with supplies into Gaza through the Rafah crossing point. The Rafah crossing point, formerly the main functional entry point for humanitarian organisations, has been closed since early May. There has since been a significant decrease in trucks we have managed to get in, from 24 trucks in March to only two trucks in May.

In the West Bank, we are maintaining activities focused on emergency care, basic healthcare via mobile clinics, and mental health care in Hebron, Nablus, Tulkarem, and Jenin.

Across the West Bank, we distribute relief items, such as cooking materials, hygiene kits and food parcels to internally displaced people and West Bank residents affected by violence and forcible displacement. MSF delivers portable toilets and pipes installations to displaced communities.

Hebron

In Hebron district, we provide medical care through 15 mobile clinics. With medical staff, we also support four clinics, the maternity ward and emergency room in Halhul hospital, and emergency room in Al-Mohtaseb hospital. We provide mental health services, and donations to hospitals and first-aid kits to community focal points in Beit Ummar, Al-Rshaydeh, and to the emergency care centre in Umm al Kheir. MSF teams train medical staff in Al-Mohtaseb, Halhul, Dura, and Yatta hospitals.

Nablus

In Nablus district, we provide psychological first aid in both individual and group sessions in Nablus, Tubas, and Qalqiliyeh.

We also provide training to local psychologists and to medical and paramedical volunteers for the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Jenin and Tulkarem

MSF teams provide training to staff in the emergency rooms of the Ministry of Health-run hospitals Khalil Suleiman in Jenin and Thabet Thabet in Tulkarem. We also train medical and paramedical staff, primarily in ambulances, to provide first aid and lifesaving care.

We equip volunteer paramedics in Jenin, Tulkarem and Nur Shams refugee camps with donations and training, so they can stabilise patients during active hostilities in case ambulances are not able to reach them.

MSF staff also provide individual and group mental health sessions and psychological first aid in communities and in Khalil Suleiman hospital.

We have a base in Egypt to facilitate the transit of our supplies and international staff. Our teams in Egypt are ready to send more medical supplies into Gaza if allowed to safely do so. We are in contact with the Egyptian authorities and the relevant organisations to start activities in Egypt and provide healthcare for injured or sick Palestinian people allowed to exit Gaza, if needed.

  • We ask world leaders and organisations to exert their influence in favour of a ceasefire that will spare the lives of Gazans and restore the flow of humanitarian aid.
  • We ask Israel to lift the siege to allow increased and continuous humanitarian supplies to cross into Gaza. 
  • Protection for civilians and healthcare personnel and facilities on both sides, at all times; hospitals and ambulances are not targets.
  • Basic guarantees of safety to enable our teams to move to provide humanitarian and medical services.
  • Access to people in need of medical care and humanitarian aid, including the sick and wounded.
  • People to be afforded safe access to essential supplies like food and water and health facilities.
  • Increased essential humanitarian supplies like medicine, medical equipment, food, fuel and water must be allowed to enter the Gaza enclave.
  • Those who wish to leave must be able to do so safely without prejudicing their future option to come back.
  • In the West Bank, for Israeli authorities to put an end to the violence and forced displacements of Palestinians.
  • Israeli authorities must stop implementing restrictive measures in the West Bank that impede the ability of Palestinians to access basic services, including medical care.
  • Airdrops and sea routes are no alternative to aid delivery by land.


We call all on States, in particular the US, UK, and allied EU Member States, to do everything in their power to influence Israel to adopt a ceasefire and to stop supporting the ongoing siege and the continuing attacks against civilian and civilian infrastructures in Gaza.

 

Map - MSF operations in Gaza (2024 May) - EN
Map outlining the location and details of MSF's activities in the Gaza Strip as of 31 May. Please note that information is subject to change.

Situation in Palestine

The situation in Gaza has been described by our teams as ‘apocalyptic’.

Israeli forces continue to carry out widespread attacks disproportionately impacting civilians. Palestinians in Gaza are suffering each day from an all-out destructive military campaign that blatantly ignores the rules of war. The recurrent forced displacement of people and Israel's attacks on densely populated areas, even those designated by Israel as “safe” or “humanitarian zones”, continue to expose the absence of true safety in Gaza.

The ongoing Israeli offensive on Rafah is making the delivery of humanitarian assistance and provision of medical care near impossible. The closure of the Rafah crossing is jeopardising the lifeline for thousands of people and the humanitarian response, leaving stocks, including fuel, food, medicines, and water, dangerously low.

Half of all displaced people crammed in the south live in appalling conditions, in temporary structures made of a few pieces of wood banged together and covered in plastic sheeting. Many people sleep in the streets or in open areas. They struggle to find enough water to meet their hygiene needs. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification has released a report warning that famine is imminent. We are seeing the impacts of widespread food insecurity and hunger.

On 24 May, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to halt its offensive on and reopen the Rafah crossing. It is another confirmation of how catastrophic the situation is and of the desperate need for humanitarian aid to be scaled up immediately.

Israeli armed forces have announced the West Bank as a closed area. Most checkpoints across the West Bank remain closed, exacerbating movement restrictions on people and affecting their ability to access basic services, including food, and medical care.

In West Bank towns, people are experiencing an explosion of violence against them. Jenin has been particularly hard hit, with bombings and incursions by Israeli forces in the refugee camp killing and wounding dozens of people.

Over 5,000 Gazan workers have sought refuge in the West Bank. An unspecified number of Palestinians from Gaza were previously arrested by Israeli Forces when Israeli authorities cancelled their permits and many of them are still missing.

In Jenin, our teams report treating patients who showed signs of being tied up and beaten, reportedly by Israeli forces.

Our medical teams at Jenin hospital have witnessed Israeli forces shooting at the hospital itself, while they’ve also treated medical staff who were shot by soldiers while still in an ambulance. Israeli forces also prevent the ability of ambulances to move around, blocking entrances to the refugee camp.

In Hebron, families have been displaced after violence from Israeli settlers and forces, including having their homes burnt down. Patients in Hebron old city, known as H2, are facing challenging access to our mobile clinic when it’s there, due to extreme restrictions on movements.

These attacks on medical care MUST stop.

Attacks on MSF staff or facilities

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