MSF, Doctors Without Borders, Gaza, Palestine, Destroyed building

Gaza: MSF condemns strike on shelter that killed staff member’s five-year-old daughter

Jerusalem, January 9, 2024 - Doctors Without Borders (MSF) condemns in the strongest possible terms the January 8 strike on an MSF shelter, which led to the death of the five-year-old daughter of an MSF staff member.

Yesterday morning, a shell, resembling that from a tank, broke through the wall of the building where over 100 MSF staff and their family members were seeking shelter in Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. The five-year-old girl was critically injured by the strike and underwent surgery at the Gaza European Hospital. However, she later died of her injuries on January 9. Three other people were slightly injured in the strike.

Image showing an influx of wounded people in Wounded influx in Al-Shifa Hospital
A Palestinian civil defence officer injured in Israeli attacks is given cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a stretcher at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza Strip. [Date taken - 16/10/2023]
Ali Jadallah/Anadolu via AFP

“We are outraged and deeply saddened by the death of yet another family member of our MSF staff. This strike on civilians is unacceptable and, once again, goes to show that it doesn’t matter where you are in Gaza, nowhere is safe,” said Thomas Lauvin, MSF project coordinator in Gaza. “The shell did not detonate on impact. Otherwise, many more of our staff and their families would have most likely been killed.”

Prior to the incident, MSF notified Israeli forces that the shelter near Gaza European Hospital was housing MSF staff and their families. Furthermore, no evacuation orders were issued before the strike. While MSF is not able to confirm the origin of the shell, it appears to be similar to those used by Israeli tanks. MSF has contacted Israeli authorities and is seeking further explanation.

Four of MSF’s staff have been killed since the beginning of the war, in addition to numerous family members.

We reiterate our call for an immediate and sustained ceasefire in Gaza. Indiscriminate violence against civilians must end now.

MSF, Doctors Without Borders, Gaza, Palestine, Destroyed building

Israel Military attacks MSF staff and civilian shelter in Gaza

Following Monday 8 January's shelling of a shelter in Rafah, where MSF staff and their families were taking refuge, the 5-year-old daughter of an MSF staff was severely injured. She was taken to the nearest hospital (European Hospital) for care. She tragically died the day after. Head of Mission Léo Cans takes us back to the shelter and explains what happened.