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“After 60 days of war, I'm losing hope”

Listen to this powerful new audio testimony from an MSF doctor in Gaza.

A mother hugs her child in a crowded hallway at Al Aqsa Hospital in Gaza

A mother and child at Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza on November 29. | Al-Aqsa Hospital on November 29. Palestine 2023 © MSF

On December 8—the day the United States blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza—a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) doctor working in the Strip, Dr. Ruba, sent us a voice note on the state of hopelessness on the ground: “Every day, every night I fear for my kids' life, for my life.” Here’s the message she wanted to share.


December 8, 2023

We are displaced south from the valley, which is supposed to be a safe area, but every night, every day, there are airstrikes. They are targeting everybody. Nobody is safe.

There are a lot of different types of injuries. We saw burns from different kinds of sources. We saw raw areas. We saw fractures. Also, there are a lot of kids with amputations.

We have only the primary medical supplies with paracetamol, ibuprofen, and dressings, and unfortunately, we don't have access to our clinic. The Israeli army cut the road.

We treated a six-year-old female child. She was badly injured, with [an] external fixator [a tool to hold broken bones in place], and there is a big raw area. She was crying, shouting. She was begging for painkillers, for sedation, because she's tired from pain, and she's tired from inability to move her arm.

In most shelters, you will find fleas, you will find all kinds of skin diseases, all kinds of gastrointestinal symptoms. And in one shelter near where I am located, there is hepatitis A spread between people.

It's really hard to treat them because we don't have access to the needed drugs. We don't have access to anything at all. Water and food are not clean. And people are now eating anything they could find, because it's really starvation here.

I don't believe that anything I say will change the picture. My only message [is] that Palestinians have the right to be treated as human beings, have the right to live. Every day, every night I fear for my kids' life, for my life.

And I'm sorry to say that, but after 60 days of war, I'm losing hope, and I am saying that the ones who passed away in the [first] few days were very lucky. They didn't witness two months of terrifying days and nights. I'm seeing my people suffer, and I cannot do anything. This world is not fair. 

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