Gaza: MSF condemns deliberate attack on a convoy transporting staff, resulting in one death and one injury

On 18 November 2023, an MSF staff’s relative died and another one was injured in an attack on an MSF convoy trying to evacuate 137 people – MSF Palestinian staff members and their families. They were trapped for a week in MSF premises located near Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. MSF condemns in the strongest terms this deliberate attack.

This morning, at 9:00 am local time, an MSF convoy composed of five cars, all clearly marked with MSF identification, including on the cars’ roofs, with 137 people, composed of MSF Palestinian staff members and families, among them 65 children, left the MSF premises (guesthouse, office, outpatient clinic located near Al-Shifa hospital) heading southern Gaza for a safer place. Since 11 November, they have been trapped under fire because of ongoing fighting and since then, MSF has repeatedly called to safely evacuate them.

MSF had informed both parties to the conflict of this movement. The convoy went through the itinerary indicated by the Israeli army and reached Salah Al Deen street, along with other civilians trying to leave the area.

The convoy reached the last checkpoint near Wadi Gaza, which was overcrowded at that time due to extensive screenings of Palestinians by Israeli forces. Despite the information shared with the Israeli army, they weren’t allowed to cross the checkpoint for hours. Shots were later heard by our staff, pushing them to turn back out of fear and to head back to MSF premises, located around 7 kms from the checkpoint.

On their way back, between 3:30 pm and 4:00 pm local time, the convoy was attacked in Al-Wehda street near the junction of Said Al A’as Street, near the MSF office. Two of the MSF cars were deliberately hit, killing one MSF staff’s family member and injuring another.

MSF calls again to urgently allow the evacuation of our staff, as well as of thousands of other people, trapped by fighting and living in extremely dire conditions in northern Gaza.

We are calling for an immediate ceasefire, which is the only way for corridors to be implemented in order to safely evacuate trapped civilians.

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