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“We dread nightfall”: Voices from Gaza

Members of MSF's team in Gaza share their experiences living and working under bombardment and siege.

Wounded and displaced Palestinians in Gaza sit in front of a blue wall

Palestine 2023 © MSF

Last updated on March 8, 2024

All over Gaza, Palestinians are suffering under Israeli siege and bombardment, losing loved ones, homes, and their own lives while world leaders fail to take meaningful action. Among them are Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff members, many of whom continue to work and provide lifesaving care in hospitals and health centers across Gaza. These are their stories.

Suhail Habib, MSF vehicle maintenance supervisor

"We are trying to survive hunger."

“Life has not only become difficult, but it has become five times harder. We can’t find flour because the Israeli army blocked it. We are forced to eat animal food just to survive. Sometimes we eat bird food, donkey food, and sometimes grass which we pick from the corners of the streets. We are trying to survive hunger.

I go three days without food, and my wife keeps asking me: ‘What did you eat today?’ I reply that I’m not hungry. I come home empty-handed, with no food, barely any flour, no bread, no rice. Today, 1kg of rice costs $33 so I can’t afford to feed the children ...
 

... We don’t have any clean water, there’s no drinkable water. We don’t have electricity and we cannot get medicines.

My mother suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes, and I cannot get medication for her. A lot of people in Gaza are suffering from respiratory problems because of the smoke and dust from the bombings. Communicable diseases are also spreading quickly."

MSF vehicle maintenance supervisor Suhail Habib
February

Anonymous MSF staff member

“We don’t know if we will survive the next hour”

"Today is Monday, the 12th of February, 2024. I was awakened at midnight because of bombing and couldn't fall asleep again. Around 5:00 a.m., there was a very strong airstrike, and in the beginning I thought it was my home. Then within seconds, I remembered my kids and I heard things falling apart in the room, so I covered my youngest daughter who was sleeping on my arm with sheets and went running to my other kids ... There were a lot of things hitting my back—stones, wood, a lot of other things that I couldn't understand in those few seconds...

... At that moment, I felt nothing but pain, horror. I was really out of my mind. After I checked that my kids were okay, I was worried about my family because I am currently living on their roof. I went down there. All the glasses had been broken, but thank God they are all alive and nobody was injured. We left our home for an hour till sunrise so we could see better. When I came back, I saw what happened. Everything was covered with sand and dust. All the windows and doors had been broken.

We lost a lot of things, but at least we are alive. A friend of mine called and asked me if I was fine, but to be honest, I forgot the meaning of fine. Everybody here is just checking on each other [to see] if we are alive. It's not easy anymore to continue at the same level.   

At our home, when we were checking it, I found pieces of human flesh. We found a whole limb belonging to a human and we don't know who he is. When I saw the pieces of flesh on the floor, I cried.

I know that this message means nothing to a lot of people and will change nothing, but I know that if we don't leave now, we will leave in the next airstrike or the next. And to be honest, the ones who die are the ones who are lucky. The ones who live to suffer again and again and again, are the ones who have been cursed and abandoned by all people all around the world. It's not fair and it's not justice.

I don't know how anybody can sleep knowing that our kids are suffering for nothing. We are only civilians. I am a doctor, my husband is a doctor, and we are suffering since day one of this war. I don't know if it's going to end soon. I don't know if we are going to survive the next hour or two. All I know is that the only thing that keeps my mind from falling apart is my faith that God is merciful and won't let us down. Not like what all people around the world did."

Displaced Palestinians by a tent in Rafah, Gaza.

Lisa Macheiner, MSF project coordinator

"People are exhausted"

"There were attacks in Rafah yesterday [February 11] and also during the night. From Khan Younis, we could hear a lot of heavy explosions. Our windows and doors were shaking throughout the whole night. It was very, very noisy. 

People don't feel safe. Children are terrified. They are distressed and it's been going on for months now and people are exhausted. There are hundreds of thousands of people everywhere. There is no space anymore. There is no space to move in a car. There is sometimes even no space to walk ... 

... There is a lack of access to food, lack of access to water, lack of access to sanitation, lack of access to health care. There is a huge need for primary health care, for follow-up of patients who had surgeries, multiple surgeries. There are people with infected wounds.

We do see people start to move, taking the little belongings they have left to try to get to a safer place. They don't know what to do anymore and they feel unsafe and terrified about what is going to happen next. 

'Where is it safe?'

'Where should we go?'

And there is no answer to that. And it really leads to a feeling of despair. 

It's quite sad to see how empty people's eyes are despite all the resilience that people have here."

Displaced Palestinians inside a tent in Rafah, Gaza.

“Mom, can we leave Gaza now? I really just want to live.”

Dr. Ruba*, an MSF doctor, shares an update on her situation and the heartbreaking conversations she has with her children about the very real possibility of death.

Read more

Marie-Aure Perreaut Revial, emergency coordinator

"Babies who never learned to walk, and never will"

"One day we were alerted that an MSF staff member and his family had arrived at the emergency department, badly injured. Colleagues rushed to find them in the chaos.  

Later, Dr. Samir* told me, 'I had to make a choice—I saw Ghassan* and his son, they needed me, but next to them I saw a woman critically injured, who also needed me. What was I supposed to do?'

Health care workers are forced into decisions like this every day in Gaza ...

... Ghassan’s son had been hit by shrapnel. He underwent multiple surgeries that day, including injuries to his throat that affected his ability to speak. His mother lost an eye. That day, when Dr. Samir came out of the operating theatre at 1 a.m., his MSF jacket was covered in blood.  

One of MSF’s surgeons told me about dressing the wounds of babies who had lost their legs. It stayed with him. Babies who never learned to walk, and never will.

By the end of December, the team in our wound dressing unit was seeing an average of 150 patients per day, almost all with burns or blast injuries. Many were children. One of MSF’s surgeons told me about dressing the wounds of babies who had lost their legs. It stayed with him. Babies who had never learned to walk, and never will.    

Some of those children have a new acronym written on their file: “WCNSF,” which stands for “wounded child, no surviving family.” 

Nine-year-old Salma* is one of thousands of WCNSFs. She suffered a fractured skull when the house her family was in was shelled. One of her legs was broken; the other had been amputated. We met her in the intensive care unit. She still didn’t know that she was the only one who made it out of the rubble alive. The exhausted staff wanted to let her recover physically first.   

One of the biggest challenges facing hospitals in southern and central Gaza is bed capacity. The beds are needed to treat patients in critical condition, but those who have been stabilized have nowhere to go. Where should we send a patient like Salma? What do we say to her?"

Read more >>

Marie-Aure Perreaut, MSF emergency coordinator
January

Aurélie Godard, head of medical activities in Gaza

"They work in terrible conditions"

"In the emergency room, we saw a seriously injured patient who had arrived the day before. He’d had a tracheotomy, a chest tube inserted, and also abdominal surgery. He was surrounded by dozens of other patients in a room without electricity as generator fuel is scarce, and therefore his vital functions weren’t being monitored because the monitoring devices were not working. The team told us that they had recently lost a patient because they were unable to give him a blood transfusion. Their blood bank was empty. They work in terrible conditions."

"Staff at Al-Shifa are struggling to care for patients because the needs are huge. There are a lot of people in the hospital and all around, made up mainly of those who are displaced. There are still many people living in northern Gaza, and many of them have suffered trauma related to war injuries, but also because of poor living conditions and winter illnesses.  

The number of patients is very high and medical staff have reported difficulties in many areas, whether with the supply of oxygen, electricity, medical equipment, or simply food. All of this makes providing medical care extremely difficult, and they have enormous operating difficulties to overcome. The convoy's 19,000 liters of fuel [over 5,000 gallons] will supply the hospital for barely a week. Around 3,000 liters per day [about 792 gallons] are required for it to be functional. 

This visit was very short as the journey from the south of the Gaza Strip took us a very long time, and we were not allowed to stay there for long. The convoy was supposed to go to the hospital five days earlier, but it was impossible to go then for various reasons. 
 
It was moving to see the surprise of patients, displaced families, and staff at the sight of new people after being holed up in the hospital for weeks by themselves."

Read more >

View through the windshield of a car going to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza.

"They use it once, then squeeze out the blood"

"They said that they didn’t have any [abdominal gauze] to spare, and that the ones they had were already being used on several patients," said Rami, an MSF nurse who was trapped in Nasser Hospital. "They use it once, then squeeze out the blood, wash it, sterilize it, and reuse it with another patient. This is the situation in Nasser’s operating theater—can you imagine?"

Watch on YouTube

Dr. Aldo Rodriguez, MSF surgeon

"Attacks on hospitals are a fact of life"

"My first hours in Gaza were marked by the constant buzz of the drones Israel uses to surveil the enclave. The stressful, loud sound can be heard non-stop, all day and even at night. I also saw landslides, collapsed buildings. Even though I knew about the dire conditions in Gaza ahead of time, it was still shocking to see everything in ruins and people looking for food under the rubble and waiting in endless lines to get some bread. There isn't a place in Gaza that doesn't have a shattered building."

"Prepared to provide as much medical support as possible, the team went to work at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. At the time, Nasser had become the largest functioning hospital in Gaza following relentless attacks on Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital in the enclave’s north. But it had twice as many patients as it could handle, and people were setting up tents to shelter from the airstrikes and shelling elsewhere. Some patients have had their homes destroyed and have nowhere to go after being discharged. Many get stuck in the hospital, where at least it’s warm and there is drinking water."

Read more >>

Dr. Aldo Rodriguez, an MSF surgeon, operates on a patient at Nasser Hospital in Gaza

"It's getting very, very complicated."

"They were asking if it was safe," said Carolina Lopez, MSF emergency coordinator. "And I cannot say to my staff, 'this place is safe.' I mean, there is no safe place in Gaza ... We cannot ensure the safety of our own staff. We cannot move, we cannot arrive at, we cannot work in the hospitals that are around because they are not secure either."

Watch on YouTube

Pascale Coissard Rogeret, emergency coordinator

"She gave birth to him in the latrines closest to her tent"

"This week, I sat down with some of our patients at Al-Emirati Hospital in Rafah, where people receive postpartum care. In addition to the exhaustion of childbirth, they must contend with the constant stress of bombings, displacement, poor living conditions in Rafah, and the uncertainty of what tomorrow holds. Three of these women’s stories particularly struck me."

"Maha* is from northern Gaza. She went to a hospital when she felt labor was starting, but she couldn't be treated. All the delivery rooms were full. She knew something wasn't right, that she needed to be admitted—she has had a Cesarean section before. But with no other option, she had to go back to her tent. Her son died. She gave birth to him in the latrines closest to her tent.

When I entered our facility, Maha was sitting on her bed after receiving postpartum care. She's the one who called me to talk to her. She needed to express her deep pain to all of us; she needed to cry out to us about the injustice she experienced. Without this war, she would not have lost her son.

Nour* had a little girl, a very pretty one. After giving birth, Nour was happy but tired, half asleep and a little pale. My colleagues gave her a hemoglobin test—she needed to take some iron and vitamin C supplements. Her mother-in-law accompanied her and told me that their family is from Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip. Her house and her street are now reduced to rubble. I asked what her baby girl's name would be. Nour hadn't decided yet. But her mother-in-law would like her name to be Salam (Arabic for “peace”), which has never been more needed. 

Reham* had just given birth to a baby girl, too. They are both fine. She wanted to show me the face of the newborn and told me with a smile that her name is Amal, meaning “hope,” because hope is what encourages Palestinians to get up every morning despite the horrors they have lived through. And it's the last thing Reham wants to lose."

*Names changed for privacy and security 

Watch the video >>

A Palestinian woman looks through her tent in Gaza.
December

Jacob Burns, project coordinator

"Staff are literally kneeling in blood on the floor"

"As I type this in the pre-dawn dark of Al-Mawasi—the coastal strip that Israel has designated as the humanitarian zone—I can hear bombs every minute hitting Khan Younis, two miles away in the south of Gaza. The house where I’m staying intermittently shakes with overwhelming force. 

Earlier this week, a team of my colleagues were in Nasser Hospital, where we provide emergency care and surgical treatment, including to patients with traumatic injuries and severe burn injuries. We had been assured by the Israelis that the hospital would not be targeted. Yet, while we were there, leaflets suddenly fell from the sky ordering the immediate evacuation of premises near the hospital, including the road we use to get in and out of the facility."

"It’s impossible to safely provide the medical aid people desperately need in conditions like these. Hospitals and health care workers should never be a target.

As people have been forced to flee location after location in search of safety in Gaza, many have been left without shelter and are living in terrible conditions. Rafah, the southernmost city in the Strip, is now home to at least 1.2 million people, up from a pre-war population of 300,000. Tents improvised from plastic sheeting line the streets, and the schools are crammed full of people looking for a safe place to sleep. Because there is little or no gas, the land is being stripped of its greenery to feed fires to keep people warm against the winter cold. Clean water and toilets are in short supply, diseases are spreading rapidly due to the crowded conditions and lack of health care services, and food prices have risen to six or seven times their pre-war norm."

Read more >>

Crowded stairwell inside Al-Aqsa Hospital in Gaza.

"Staying alive is only a matter of luck"

"It was heartbreaking—running away and having to look at Palestinian colleagues and neighbors who had been with us all the time, helping us with everything, and knowing that most probably I would never see them again," said Ricardo Martinez, MSF logistics coordinator.

Read his Q&A

Dr. Ruba, MSF doctor

“After 60 days of war, I'm losing hope”

"We are displaced south from the valley, which is supposed to be a safe area, but every night, every day, there are airstrikes. They are targeting everybody. Nobody is safe.

There are a lot of different types of injuries. We saw burns from different kinds of sources. We saw raw areas. We saw fractures. Also, there are a lot of kids with amputations. We have only the primary medical supplies with paracetamol, ibuprofen, and dressings, and unfortunately, we don't have access to our clinic. The Israeli army cut the road ...

... We treated a six-year-old female child. She was badly injured, with [an] external fixator [a tool to hold broken bones in place], and there is a big raw area. She was crying, shouting. She was begging for painkillers, for sedation, because she's tired from pain, and she's tired from inability to move her arm.

In most shelters, you will find fleas, you will find all kinds of skin diseases, all kinds of gastrointestinal symptoms. And in one shelter near where I am located, there is hepatitis A spread between people.

It's really hard to treat them because we don't have access to the needed drugs. We don't have access to anything at all. Water and food are not clean. And people are now eating anything they could find, because it's really starvation here.

I don't believe that anything I say will change the picture. My only message [is] that Palestinians have the right to be treated as human beings, have the right to live. Every day, every night I fear for my kids' life, for my life.

And I'm sorry to say that, but after 60 days of war, I'm losing hope, and I am saying that the ones who passed away in the [first] few days were very lucky. They didn't witness two months of terrifying days and nights. I'm seeing my people suffer, and I cannot do anything. This world is not fair."

Read more >>

A mother hugs her child at Al-Aqsa Hospital in Gaza.
November

Anonymous MSF staff

"They started opening fire at us"

“When we arrived at Al Wahida Street, I saw tanks and snipers at the top of the buildings. I was terrified when I saw that the snipers and the tanks were pointing their weapons at us, especially at the fourth and the fifth van [in the convoy]. They started opening fire at us and when a bullet grazed my forehead, I got a superficial injury. 

The bullet hit my colleague Alaa in the head, he sat next to me. He got a critical head injury and started bleeding massively. His head fell on the steering [wheel] and I immediately retook control of the [vehicle] to move to the right of the street.”

On November 18, 2023, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) evacuation convoy came under fire in Gaza City in what immediately appeared to be a deliberate attack against clearly identified MSF vehicles. Two people were killed—both family members of MSF staff—including one who was a volunteer supporting MSF medical teams at Al-Shifa Hospital.

Two weeks later, after collecting the testimonies of MSF staff who were present in the convoy that day, all elements point to the responsibility of the Israeli army for this attack.

MSF has also collected testimonies regarding the destruction of five MSF vehicles and the severe damage caused to our clinic in Gaza City on November 20. The vehicles and clinic were all clearly identifiable by the MSF logo. Their destruction can be attributed to an Israeli bulldozer and a heavy military vehicle. Before they were destroyed, these MSF vehicles were potential evidence for any independent investigation into the November 18 attack on the MSF convoy.

In addition, shots were aimed at the MSF facilities where these colleagues were sheltering, leaving bullet holes in the interior walls. On November 24, our staff witnessed the destruction of a minibus, also clearly identified by the MSF logo, by an Israeli tank. The MSF team in southern Gaza had sent this minibus following the destruction of the other vehicles a few days prior, to facilitate the evacuation of colleagues in the north.

The staff and family members who went through this ordeal had been trapped inside MSF facilities amid heavy fighting, with no electricity and limited access to food and water, for almost two weeks before they were finally able to evacuate to southern Gaza on November 24. These are their words, recorded between November 26 and 29. 

Read more >>

Destroyed vehicles in Gaza.
An MSF staff member stands at the center of a circle of Palestinian children in a mental health session in Gaza.

"We try as much as possible to give them support"

“As a psychologist, the most common things I see among children are nightmares, bed-wetting, anxiety, fear. We try as much as possible to give them support via recreational activities. After that, we will work with the mothers through psychosocial education to explain what might happen to them because of the situation and how can they deal with it." — Marwa Abu Al Nour, MSF psychologist at Martyrs Clinic

Learn more about the impacts of war on children
MSF's Dr. Sohaib Safi at Al-Aqsa Hospital on November 29, 2023.

"The situation here is horrific"

"The number of patients [is] enormous," said MSF's Dr. Sohaib Safi. "We're talking about more than 600 patients with more than 90 percent of these patients with open wounds that need dressing and they have a lot of infections."

Watch the video

“The only remnant of his family”

“Since the war started until now, I have been working non-stop, 24 hours, all the days," said Dr. Hafez Abukhussa, a reconstructive surgeon at Nasser Hospital. "Can you imagine to receive 100 cases or 200 cases a day, sometimes 500 injured patients a day?"

Watch the video

"The ones who were not dead, will likely die very soon"

Christophe Garnier, an MSF project coordinator, arrived in Gaza with a medical team on November 14, 2023. Garnier described what they experienced in just the first few days—multiple mass casualties, patients, including children arriving severely injured, and many already dead. 

Watch the video

Dr. Mohammed Obeid, MSF surgeon

“We are alone now. No one hears us."

"We don’t have electricity. There’s no water in the hospital. There’s no food. People will die in a few hours without functioning ventilators.

In front of the main gate, there are many bodies. There are also injured patients; we can’t bring them inside. When we sent an ambulance to bring the patients—a few meters away—and they attacked the ambulance. There are injured people around the hospital looking for medical care. We can’t bring them inside. There’s also a sniper who attacked patients, they have gunshot wounds. We operated on three of them ...

... The situation is very bad, it is inhuman. It’s a closed area, no one knows about us. We don’t have an internet connection—you managed to call me now, [but] maybe you’ll [have to] try 10 times before you can reach me again.

The medical team agreed to leave the hospital only if patients are evacuated first. We don’t want to leave our patients. There are 600 inpatients, 37 babies, someone who needs an ICU. We can’t leave them.

We need a guarantee that there is a safe corridor [to leave] because we saw some people trying to leave Al-Shifa and they killed them, they bombed them, the sniper killed them.

Inside Al-Shifa Hospital, there are injured patients and medical teams. If they give us guarantees and evacuate the patients first, we will evacuate."

Watch the video >>

Dr. Mohammed Obeid, an MSF surgeon in Gaza, working at Al-Shifa Hospital.

“Lives vanish in a split second here”

"Houses that we saw yesterday, driving down the street, are no longer there and it’s incredible to think that lives vanish in a split second here," said MSF emergency coordinator Nicholas Papachrysostomou.

Watch the video

"I can't leave if you're shooting at me."

MSF staff members share voice notes during the Israeli military’s siege of Gaza’s hospitals in November: "Now the situation is very bad. We can see actually the smoke around the hospital."

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Mohammad Hawajreh, MSF nurse

"Enough is enough"

"The situation inside Al-Shifa is unbelievable. When we hear ambulances or bombing, we go directly to Al-Shifa, even in the middle of the night. Every day, every hour, every moment—we receive casualties. Hundreds of casualties every day.

When people first come to the hospital, we receive them in the triage room. We try to stop the bleeding, cover the wounds, and keep them alive. Most of the patients are children and women. The types of wounds are unbelievable: shrapnel wounds on their faces, all over their bodies; bones exposed; internal bleeding after being under the rubble for hours; deep burns—40 to 70 percent of the body. Most of the wounds are infected. It's terrifying to express ... 

... You work 24 hours, but the number of patients is so high you cannot keep up. Though, we keep going. Thousands of people are sheltering at Al-Shifa. People who evacuated from the north or lost their homes in airstrikes flocked to the hospital to try and seek safety. There are people everywhere—no hygiene, no water to drink, no food. They lost their homes. They haven’t been able to bathe for 24 days. It's a health catastrophe.

I come back to the office in the evening to see my kids. I calm them down when they hear the bombing—especially at night. Some days I go to Al-Shifa without sleep after staying up all night calming them down. It's difficult. There are no words to express my feelings."

Read more >>

MSF nurse Mohammad Hawajreh treats a child at the burns clinic in Gaza.

"I don't have a house now."

"They asked many times to evacuate this hospital. And we don’t. I mean, we cannot because they don’t say where to evacuate and how to evacuate our patients," said Dr. Nedal Abed, MSF orthopedic surgeon. "How to convince them to go outside? Where? Where to go?"

Watch the video

“The hospital is almost collapsing”

"Doctors, nurses, and medical staff have been exhausted for 23 days," said Dr. Abu Abed, MSF's deputy medical coordinator. "Surgeons are operating on the ground, on the floor, they are operating everywhere."

Watch the video

Dr. Ahmad Abu Yassan, MSF anesthesiologist

"We need to be strong and focus on saving lives"

“In my last shift at Al-Shifa Hospital, most of the patients who reached the hospital died, some of burn injuries, some of penetrating or blunt trauma. Post-operative care is very limited since we work beyond our capacity. We are unable to isolate patients with infected wounds. I’m worried about bacterial resistance and infections. Anesthesia is very difficult because of the long duration of interventions and recovery, and the lack of equipment. The medical teams are exhausted mentally and physically, but we need to be strong and focus on saving lives.”

An ambulance is hit outside Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on November 3.
October

Israa Ali, MSF interpreter

A day in the life of a mother in Gaza

"Words fail to describe a day in the life for people in Gaza right now. The morning starts while we are already awake. We toss and turn and try to sleep for a while, but the sound of bombs won’t allow it.

We lay awake, listening to the news on the radio. In this modern age, we should have electricity and internet access, but our phones are dead. We run to see whether there is fuel to turn on the generator, and then realize that the generator is dead, too. Here, we acknowledge that we live in besieged Gaza ... 

... I slowly comprehend the sound of my child’s voice: ‘Mom, I am hungry, I want to have breakfast.'

While making breakfast with the bare minimum of supplies, I start to blame myself for having children and bringing them into a world with such dire conditions and frequent wars—especially this miserable war.

When you have children, you do your best to protect them and provide them with everything. When you hear the sound of bombs falling, you are supposed to be a strong parent; to remain calm for your kids. But the truth is, you are really in need of someone to calm you down.

We dread nightfall. The Israeli drones, warplanes, warships, heavy rockets, and bombs spread like wildfire. After trying to calm myself and my children down, who awake many times crying, I think about my father, mother, and family, who are sheltering far away, but under the same circumstances. 

You try to think positively, that they are far away from the targeted bombs, but it’s in vain. I will be worried until I hear their voices."

Palestinians line up for food and water in Gaza during the war with Israel in October 2023.

Dr. Mohammed Obeid, MSF surgeon

“We amputated him in front of his mother and his sister”

"We lack instruments and we have a lot of cases, so we just amputated under slight sedation. The anesthetist tried to keep the boy’s mouth open to prevent strangulation. We amputated him in front of his mother and his sister because there is no space and the sister was waiting to be operated on next. You cannot imagine. This girl, this 13-year-old waiting for an operation, looking at me as I am amputating the mid-foot of her brother."

MSF doctors amputate a small child's leg in Gaza.

Loay Harb, MSF nurse

“God help us in this difficult time.”

"At this moment, we do not have any drinkable water; the water we have is polluted and not safe to drink. We don’t even have fuel to pump water from the wells. Our families and kids are being displaced from the north to the south and from the south to anywhere else. We do not have any safe place to stay.

We delivered medical supplies to Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City two days ago. [Reaching] the hospital was very tough. We saw hundreds of people taking shelter in the hospital and it was difficult to walk inside. It took us a lot of time to deliver the supplies ...

... There were huge numbers of people inside the hospital; they think the hospital is a safe place, but there is no safe place. The majority of the injuries are very critical. There is not enough space. Patients who need surgery are lying on the floor.

I decided to stay in my home because there is no safe place in Gaza. My house is close to the MSF office and clinic.

The majority of my family decided to move to the center of Gaza and to the south. A large number of the people who moved south are returning now to their homes, because they have suffered a lot being homeless. Again: no electricity, no water, and the situation is extremely tense for people in the south.

I am still working on a daily basis at the burn clinic with MSF. We still receive some patients with burns. I do the dressings for them. It is difficult for them to come back again so I prepare kits for them and I show them how to do it themselves. This is at least something I can help with as a nurse."

A man holding a child with wreckage from Israeli bombardment in Gaza behind them.

"We were for two hours searching for drinkable water"

Dr. Mohammed Abu Mughaiseeb, MSF's deputy medical coordinator in Gaza, describes what he and others in the area face.

Watch the video

Louis Baudoin, communications manager

"We left in a convoy of 300 cars at 8:00 a.m."

"I think at first, people didn't believe the evacuation warning. That's why in the morning there weren't many people here. Soon, cars started pouring [in] all day long until there was no more room. At that point, people continued to come on foot, parking outside the base with mattresses, a little food, some clothes, but not much luggage because everyone really left in an emergency ...

... The base is a sort of large complex which serves as a school, among other things, with perhaps 10 buildings of various sizes. And so people are looking for a small place to shelter where they can. People are sleeping on the stairs, in the hallways, the classrooms, the cafeterias. There are people really everywhere, putting their mattresses or just a blanket on the ground. 

People come from almost everywhere, especially from the areas which have been evacuated—from Gaza City, from Beit Hanoun, from Khan Yunis. People think that they are safer here.  

People came here to seek safety, but they are still afraid. They wonder what will happen. People often come to us asking if we have information, but we don't have any either. We don't know if [the] bombing will continue close by or far from here. We heard a few bombs falling yesterday, but for sure less than in Gaza City."

Watch the video >>

Displaced Palestinians in Gaza during Israeli siege and bombardment of October 2023

How MSF is responding to the war in Gaza