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Gaza: MSF statement on deadly incident that killed over 100 Palestinians seeking aid

An immediate and sustained ceasefire is the only way to stop the loss of more lives and increase the flow of humanitarian assistance.

Wreckage after Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in October 2023.

Devastation caused by airstrikes in Gaza in October 2023. Palestine 2023 © MSF

NEW YORK/PARIS, February 29, 2024—The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is horrified by the latest news from Gaza City, northern Gaza, where Israeli forces reportedly opened fire today as Palestinians were waiting to receive food from aid trucks. More than 100 people were killed and about 750 were wounded, according to local health authorities.

Dr. Isabelle Defourny, president of MSF in Paris, said today:

“We are horrified by today’s news from Gaza City.

“MSF staff were not present during the incident, and due to poor telecommunications service we are unable to reach our medical staff still working in hospitals in the north of Gaza. However, we know that the situation in Gaza—particularly in the north—is catastrophic.

“A few days ago, when we spoke to our staff there, they said they did not have enough food to eat and that some were resorting to pet food to survive. They also reported a lack of clean water, which is leading to diseases.

“This situation is the direct result of the string of unconscionable decisions taken by Israeli authorities while waging this war: a relentless bombing and shelling campaign, a complete siege imposed on the enclave, the bureaucratic hurdles and lack of security mechanisms to ensure safe food distribution from southern to northern Gaza, and the systematic destruction of land and resources needed for the farming, herding, and fishing that people rely on for work.

“The north has been largely cut off from assistance for months, leaving people trapped and with no choice but to attempt to survive on minuscule amounts of food, water, and medical supplies. Entire neighborhoods have been bombed and destroyed.

“We consider Israel responsible for the situation of extreme deprivation and despair which prevails in Gaza—particularly in the north—which led to today’s tragic events.

“MSF reiterates its call for an immediate and sustained ceasefire. We call on Israeli authorities to allow unimpeded and streamlined humanitarian and essential aid like food to be delivered into and throughout the Gaza Strip, and for attacks on civilians to stop immediately.”

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