During the Great March of Return protests in Gaza in 2018 and 2019, thousands of people were shot – mostly in the legs – by the Israeli army, resulting in often horrific and complex injuries. Our teams provide surgical and post-operative care, including rehabilitation and mental health support, to people who were injured during the protests.
Our patients have been exposed to critical events, such as witnessing violence, raids on their homes, arrests and deaths of family members, and consequently, they have developed anxiety, stress and sleeping problems. We run mental health programmes in Hebron, Nablus, Qalqilya and Tubas offering psychological and social support to victims of political violence.
In our burns and trauma centres in the Gaza Strip, we treat patients, most of them children, the majority of them having burns from domestic accidents.
Our teams are currently responding to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Our activities in 2020 in Palestine
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020.
The health system in Gaza has been crippled by the 10-year-long Israeli blockade and, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, was struggling to meet patient needs, due to severe shortages of essential medical equipment and supplies.
MSF continues to provide orthopaedic care in Al-Awda hospital, in the north, and post-operative care, for both children and adults, at our outpatient clinics. Services include physiotherapy and mental health counselling to help patients through long and painful treatment processes. We also run several projects in Gaza dedicated to the treatment of bone infection caused by violent trauma. In 2020 we opened a new one at Nasser hospital, in the south.
We supported Ministry of Health teams in the European hospital when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, donating oxygen concentrators and offering training on oxygen management, patient support and intensive care.
The West Bank
To support the overstretched health services in Hebron during the pandemic, MSF provided technical advice and training to hospital staff on personal protective equipment (PPE), infectious waste management, infection and prevention control, oxygen therapy and intensive care in Dura and Alia hospitals, two facilities treating COVID-19 patients.
The occupation and associated violence continue to have a profound impact on the mental health of Palestinians. Our teams offered psychological support in Hebron, Nablus and Qalqilya, adapting activities to respond to needs related to COVID-19, with remote counselling by phone temporarily replacing in-person support sessions. We extended our services to treat COVID-19 patients and their families, distributed hygiene kits and PPE, including face masks, and conducted health promotion activities in the most at-risk communities.
In late 2020, we began to run mobile clinics to provide healthcare in remote communities in the south of Hebron district.