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MSF calls on Israel to 'show humanity'

Dying under bombs in Gaza cannot be the only option left to people

A group of Palestinians in front of smoke from a building destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

Palestine 2023 © MSF

Late Thursday night, October 12, the Israeli military warned the more than 1 million people living in northern Gaza to evacuate within 24 hours and move to the southern part of the territory. This marked a further escalation of the Israel-Gaza war, sparked by the mass killing of civilians in Israel by Hamas militants on October 7 and followed by ongoing massive attacks on civilians in Gaza by the Israeli military.

The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières is extremely worried about the fate of people who will not be able to leave, including the wounded, the sick, those with disabilities, and medical staff. In this video, MSF France General Director Claire Magone calls on Israel to “show humanity.”  

On the ninth day of a bombing campaign of unprecedented violence in the Gaza Strip, MSF calls on the Israeli authorities to show humanity. Dying under bombs in Gaza cannot be the only option left to people. In the north of the Strip, where Israeli ultimatums ordering people to flee or face annihilation have multiplied, the situation is dramatic. Among the people who have not been able to flee, who do not know where to go, are MSF colleagues who have holed up with their families on-site or who continue as much as possible to treat the wounded who are flocking to hospitals. 

Hospitals are overwhelmed. There are no more painkillers now. Our staff tells us about the wounded screaming in pain, the injured, the sick who cannot get to the hospital, and the terror of finding themselves bombed in a few hours. Other people tell us about the impossibility of going out for even one hour to get supplies. In the south of Gaza, where people were called to move to by the Israeli authorities, the situation is extremely difficult. 

People are crowded into makeshift precarious camps, where access to water and food is extremely problematic. Bombings also continue in southern Gaza. Our teams report that accessing water is difficult, and is getting worse by the hour. Gaza's water shortage has now reached a critical threshold. The Israeli authorities, by imposing a total siege on Gaza, have also cut off the possibility of running water treatment and distribution plants. Due to a lack of fuel, there is now no longer any drinking water being produced in Gaza. 

Faced with this critical situation, we ask the Israeli authorities to organize and maintain truly safe areas where people can hope to be spared from the bombs. We also ask that an evacuation route be organized as quickly as possible, so that people seeking shelter, who seek to flee, can do so. We also demand that access to essential services, including access to drinking water, be urgently restored.  

It is the immediate survival of hundreds of thousands of human beings—men, women, children, the elderly, the wounded, the sick, health care personnel, humanitarian personnel—that we are talking about today. 

How MSF is responding to the war in Gaza

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