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Airstrike in the West Bank: MSF teams respond

MSF Anesthetist Dr. Elma Wong describes the scene at Jenin hospital after an airstrike hit a refugee camp in Jenin.

MSF staff and local paramedics inspect the remnants of a mosque that was destroyed in an airstrike in Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, Palestine.

After an airstrike on Jenin refugee camp on October 25, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in the West Bank received multiple critically injured patients at Jenin hospital, where our doctors are providing lifesaving medical care.  

Violence in the West Bank has been rising during the latest war in the Gaza Strip. At least 105 Palestinians, including 31 children, have been killed in the West Bank since October 7, and 96 attacks on health care have also been documented.  

Below, MSF Anesthetist Dr. Elma Wong describes how our teams responded to the needs of patients injured in the airstrike. 


DR. ELMA WONG: At about 2:30 last night, we got the call that there [were] going to be mass casualties in the hospital. So when we arrived, we were receiving many injured patients. Up to about 20 patients came as a result of an explosion that happened in the refugee camp that was due to an air strike. We were dealing with a range of casualties, so patients had lost their limbs, lost their legs. Lots of shrapnel injuries, which meant that a piece of metal [went] into the chest, into the abdomen, into the head. So as a result, we had two patients that didn't make it. 

We were critically working on two of the patients that needed lifesaving surgery in the middle of the night. Both of these patients are in our intensive care unit. One, particularly, is still in a very critical situation. 

MSF staff walk through a street in the West Bank while responding to an airstrike in Jenin.

About our work in Palestine 

MSF teams have been working in Palestine since 1989. In Gaza, we have provided medical care and support to a health system that urgently lacks both medical personnel and supplies, with teams working in three hospitals and several outpatient clinics offering reconstructive surgery and comprehensive care for people suffering from burns and trauma. In the West Bank, our work includes psychological and psychiatric services for people affected by violence, support for community health centers and emergency response plans, and basic health care through our clinics, in addition to support for Jenin hospital.  

Our activities in Gaza are currently limited due to the relentless bombing, the impossibility of delivering fresh supplies, the evacuation of the international team, and the need to prioritize our Palestinian colleagues’ safety above anything else. Learn more about how we're responding to the Israel-Gaza war here.

In the West Bank, however, we maintain operations. Our teams have been actively assessing medical needs in Jenin, Hebron, and Nablus, and preparing for mass casualty and emergency responses in anticipation of roadblocks during active hostilities. MSF has donated drugs and equipment to seven primary health care centers so they can respond to emergencies, including deliveries. In the refugee camps of Nur Shams in Tulkarem and Jenin Camp, we donated first aid bags to volunteer paramedics so they can stabilize patients during outbreaks of violence and keep them alive until they can reach a hospital. 

How MSF is responding to the war in Gaza

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