Gaza: People killed while waiting for food

01 Mar 2024

Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors without Borders (MSF) has heavily condemned an attack in Gaza City where Israeli forces reportedly opened fire on a large group of Palestinians while they waited for food from humanitarian aid trucks. Attacks on civilians and humanitarian aid workers are not acceptable. This incident shows the dire need for an immediate prolonged ceasefire in Gaza.

Airstrikes

Residents search for survivors in the destruction caused by airstrikes in Gaza. October 2023 © MSF

On 29 February, Israeli forces reportedly opened fire as Palestinians were waiting to receive food from aid trucks in Gaza City, in northern Gaza, Palestine. MSF President Dr Isabelle Defourny responds to this news with the following quote:

“We are horrified by the latest news from Gaza City, where over 100 people were killed and about 750 wounded today, according to local health authorities, after Israeli forces reportedly opened fire as Palestinians were waiting to receive food from aid trucks. MSF staff were not present on the site, and due to bad telecommunications, we are currently unable to reach our medical staff still working in some hospitals in the north.  

"However, what we do know is that the situation in Gaza, and particularly in the north, is catastrophic. A few days ago, when we spoke to our staff there, they said they did not have enough food to eat, and that some were resorting to pet food to survive. They also reported the lack of water and its overall poor quality, leading to diseases.

We consider Israel responsible for the situation of extreme deprivation and despair which prevails in Gaza, particularly in the north, which led to today’s tragic events. 

Dr Isabelle Defourny
MSF President

"This situation is the direct result of the string of unconscionable decisions taken by Israeli authorities while waging this war: a relentless bombing and shelling campaign, a complete siege imposed on the enclave, the bureaucratic hurdles and lack of security mechanisms to ensure safe food distribution from southern to northern Gaza, the systematic destruction of livelihood capacities such as farming, herding and fishing.

"The north has been largely cut off from assistance for months, leaving people trapped and with no choice but to attempt to survive on miniscule amounts of food, water and medical supplies. Entire neighborhoods have been bombed and destroyed.

"We consider Israel responsible for the situation of extreme deprivation and despair which prevails in Gaza, particularly in the north, which led to today’s tragic events.

"We reiterate our call for an immediate and sustained ceasefire. We call on Israeli authorities to allow unimpeded and streamlined humanitarian and essential aid, such as food, to be delivered into and throughout the Gaza Strip, and for attacks on civilians to stop immediately.”

Join us in calling for an enduring ceasefire

We call for an enduring humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza to prevent further civilian deaths and allow aid workers unrestricted access to provide lifesaving medical care. 
 
MSF is calling on governments to unite in their call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.
 

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