MSF's response to the Israel-Gaza war

A message from Avril Benoît, executive director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) USA

A man drinks water from a pipe on the wreckage from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in 2023.

Palestine 2023 © Mohammed Baba

Alert is a quarterly magazine published by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF-USA) that features ground reporting from our work around the world. This article appears in the Winter 2023 issue (Vol. 24, no. 3), The Year in Photos: Voices of 2023..

Here at Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), we are grieving the widespread suffering and death stemming from the eruption of full-scale war in Israel and Gaza on October 7. As of November 13, more than 1,200 people have been killed in Israel and more than 11,000 have been killed in Gaza, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. We are calling for all parties to the conflict to ensure the safety of civilians and medical facilities.

MSF teams treat a patient at al Shifa Hospital while a woman sits in the next bed.

MSF staff treat a young patient at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza on October 19. Palestine 2023 © MSF

Palestinian children line up for water during Israel-Gaza war of 2023.

Children line up for water on October 12. Palestine 2023 © MSF

As an independent and impartial humanitarian organization, MSF delivers emergency medical care where the needs for our expertise are greatest—regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or politics. We are also an international movement made up of people of more than 169 nationalities working in more than 70 countries. Many of our staff here at MSF-USA have friends, family, and loved ones in Israel, Gaza, or both, for whom we are deeply worried. All of us have colleagues working right now in Gaza delivering lifesaving medical care to people caught in the crossfire. The situation on the ground is changing by the minute. This was written in early November—by the time it reaches you, circumstances could be very different.

As the conflict continues, here’s what we’re calling for:

  • An immediate ceasefire to spare the lives of Gazans and restore the flow of humanitarian aid.
  • Lifting the siege to allow more and continuous humanitarian supplies to cross into Gaza, including essential items such as fuel, while ensuring safe passage to reach people with the greatest needs.
  • Protection for civilians, health care providers, and health facilities at all times.
  • Basic safety guarantees for the provision of humanitarian and medical services.

MSF does not currently run medical programs in Israel. This is because we focus on filling the greatest gaps in health care, and Israel has strong emergency and health systems. We are committed to supporting the people affected by the humanitarian emergency in Gaza. To do this, we need an immediate ceasefire, the ability to bring urgent supplies and personnel into Gaza, and basic guarantees of safety.

An injured boy rests his bandaged head on his father's shoulder at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza
An injured child at Al-Shifa Hospital in October 2023.
Palestine 2023 © MSF
MSF Alert Winter 2023: The year in photos

Alert Winter 2023: The year in photos

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