Violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories has escalated sharply since May 10, when Israel launched an aerial assault on Gaza in response to rocket attacks fired by Palestinian armed groups based in the coastal enclave. Fighting between the Israeli military and Palestinian armed groups, principally Hamas, broke out after weeks of tensions in East Jerusalem, which has been illegally annexed by Israel. From May 10 to 18, 2021, Israeli airstrikes and shelling have killed 213 people in Gaza, including 61 children, and injured more than 1,400. Over this same period, rockets and missiles fired by Palestinian armed groups have killed 12 people in Israel, including two children.
The number of people wounded is increasing, but additional humanitarian personnel and supplies still cannot enter Gaza. MSF has a team present in Gaza, but urgently needs to send additional staff and supplies to support them.
Statement from Ely Sok, MSF head of mission in the Occupied Palestinian Territories:
Today an MSF team was again denied permission to cross from Israel into Gaza. This is now more than 10 days since the Israeli bombardment of Gaza began and the humanitarian needs are mounting, with more than 1,400 people injured and tens of thousands of people displaced. The health system, which faces shortages even when there’s no bombing, is out of key materials to treat the injured such as blood bags. We still don’t know when our team will be able to cross into Gaza to join our colleagues who are already there. The crossing points need to be reopened immediately and safe passage must be facilitated for humanitarian staff and supplies to avert a greater catastrophe.